The graceful elegance of Lucknawi Chikankari

Flashback…Delhi: 1990s; summer; early morning rush on the roads; women rushing to work and colleges; some in ‘chartered buses’ while others in auto-rickshaws; some driving to work…and amongst all this was noticeable an ocean of whites…most of those whites belonged to the much loved ‘Lucknawi Chikankari‘ family. This beautiful ‘chikan’ comes in all sorts of colours, but the eye notices what it wants to notice and the mind remembers only what it wants to remember (hence the stress on the colour white), though, in my defence, I must mention that traditionally ‘chikan’ work was done using white thread on a white fabric only!

Fast forward to 2017; not much has changed…Travel scenes are the same, just busier; still lots of ‘chikan’,  both in whites and colours can be spotted everywhere in the summer days… Somethings stay in our lives forever.…’Chikan’ certainly tops that list.

What is ‘Chikankari’?

It’s a special kind of embroidery, that apparently has been around since the times of the Mughal  rule in India. Several designers and NGOs continue to use this style of embroidery on various garments. This style is made up of 35 different stitches and you if fancy, then you can read more about these, right here.  If like me, you are fascinated by the history of this embroidery style, then please do have a read of this brilliantly written article in the Selvedge magazine; right here. 

 How can you style your  ‘Chikankari’?

Short answer: In several ways! Have a browse:

Was good for the Royals, surely good for us too. Chikankari in colours; Sold by Renu Dadlani
A Chikankari kurta, thrown over your ‘anarkali’ style kurta aka dress; as seen on pinterest
Throw in some colours and a bit of Punjab – White Chikankari kurta with multicolour chikan pants and Punjabi mojris; as seen on instagram
Who doesn’t love Judi Dench? And when spotted in a Abu Jani+Sandeep Khosla creation – the best! as seen on pinterest
Elegance in a Chikan kurta…a tote and sunglasses complete the look; as seen on pinterest
You’ve got to have a white chikan! Why? ‘Cos, I say so…seen on pinterest; Sold by Myne by Aanchal
Where can you but your ‘Chikankari’ from?
  1. SEVA Chikan, Lucknow : Click here
  2. Renu Dadlani: Click here
  3. Myne by Aanchal: Click here
  4. Ada Designer Chikan Studio, Lucknow: Click here
  5. Talking Threads: Click here

And of course!  you could always get a lovely piece of ‘Chikan’ fabric and get it tailored in a style that you want…Summers are never complete without ‘Lucknawi Chikan’. Get yours today!

Continue to support this ancient style of embroidery…be notjustashopper!

Shilpa xx

Cover Image: via pinterest – 1, 2

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