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Chikankari Art: The traditional embroidery art of Lucknow, India

Indian clothing is equipped with different styles and works done on them to maintain authenticity. So whether we talk about embroidery, hand stitching, or meenakari work, everything has a uniqueness in its way. And whenever we talk about Indian culture and embroidery, Chikankari work always leads the list. 

In this blog, we are going to get on detailed information on Lucknawi Chikan embroidery.

Let’s go through it- 


Meaning of Chikan


It is a type of embroidery that originated in South Asia and is now a traditional embroidery style from the City of Nawab, Lucknow. Initially, the embroidery was done from a white thread on white cotton material. It is also known as shadow work. Earlier it was done on “mulmul,” but due to the unavailability of mulmul, it is now available in various materials like cotton, wool, chiffon, crepe, silk, and more. 


History of Lucknow’s Chikan Work


Noor Jahan, Wife of Jahangir

The Chikankari Embroidery has its root in the Persian culture. The Mughals in India introduce this art. 

Once, the travelers were passing through the City of Lucknow, and they asked for water to drink from the peasants, and in return, they taught them the art of Chikankari so that peasants can earn their livings. 

Also, Noor Jahan, Mughal Empress and wife of Jahangir introduced the Chikankari in India, and from then, it became more popular. 

So, the Chikankari embroidery has numerous stories behind its origination. 


Chikan Embroidery designs

You can observe various designs on your Chikankari material that is constantly repeated throughout the piece. In some, large motifs are designed for a single element in a cloth, and some small motifs are put together to form largely designed elements. Some patterns are –





These are common and popular artwork of Chikankari embroidery. 


Chikankari in Modern World 

Different trends arrived, flourished, and went away, but love for Chikankari stayed as it is. People feel comfortable wearing Chikankari dresses as it makes them look elegant and classy at the same time. Embroidery is now known globally and even exported abroad. Being the oldest form of art and having connections with the Mughal Dynasty, Chikankari has still maintained its value. 

This is what our culture teaches us. Accepting the change is necessary but sticking to our roots and accepting the things around us is what we all should learn. This was all you need to know about Chikankari Embroidery from Lucknow.