Lucknow-originated chikankari is well known for its unique patterns and designs. When it comes to the history of chikankari, it can be dated back to centuries ago when the Mughals were ruling. It is widely believed by many that chikankari was introduced in the 16th century during the Mughal Empire. People believe that Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor’s wife, Nur Jahan, introduced Chikankari to the world.
As per the theoretical evidence, it is believed that to encourage Mughal influence in the region, artisans used to draw inspiration from Mughal architecture and infuse the same into traditional handcrafted work.
Evolution of Chikankari
As opposed to earlier times when Chikankari was usually done in muslin fabric with the help of white thread, as it was an ancient time, the inspiration for motifs was taken from nature, for instance, leaves, flowers, and birds. As time passed by, the art kept on evolving, and eventually, inspiration was drawn from Turkish and Persian designs. In terms of traditional stitches, hemstitch, chain stitch, and back stitch were mainly used.
As of now, chikankari is not just limited to what it was in the past; instead, it has evolved drastically, and now we have a velvet kurta for women. Under this segment, it’s not just limited to velvet kurta for women, as you can also find velvet chikankari kurta for men. They are quite in demand and successfully deliver the needed gracefulness.
Chikankari and Mughal Empire
Rise and Fall of Chikankari
Chikankari faced its rise and fall, respectively. Both of these are mentioned and discussed below thoroughly:
- The rise of Chikankari
It was in the Nawabs of Awadh reign in the 18th as well as 19th centuries when chikankari gathered a lot of attention from people all around the world. The Nawabs had a significant hand in not just encouraging but also promoting the chikankari art form, and they did it by providing support to all of the skilled artisans so that intricate chikan designs for the royal cart were prepared.
- The Fall of Chikankari
As soon as the British colonization began, there was a significant downfall in the Chikankari. The reason behind this is that since fancy foreign machine-made fabrics were imported, it adversely affected the local textile industry.
Chikankari’s Current Status
As of current times, not just in India but also on a global scale, chikankari has gained enough amount of attention. Not just in traditional garments, chikankari is infused in other contemporary outfits such as standard velvet chikankari kurta and velvet kurta for women.
The velvet chikankari kurta holds a significant value as it is not just soft but also is associated with luxury. Along with regular chikankari, velvet kurta for women as well as men have been in practice for ages as it adds a layer of royalty to the overall chikankari.
Some of the other velvet chikankari kurtas are designs such as geometric patterns, floral motifs, and such are available on House of Chikankari.
In the case of chikankari Techniques, there has been constant change in the practices of making chikankari as fashion, and people’s preferences keep on changing and evolving.
Some of the significant highlights of chikankari Techniques are mentioned below:
- To begin with Chikankari Techniques, the first step is to follow up by doing chikan on any kind of pastel-colored cotton and even light muslin fabric
- However, to keep up to date with the evolving generation, artists are opting for doing chikankari work on color as well as silk threads.
- Along with the above evolution, velvet kurta for women has also come into play, where velvet softness is infused in the creation of velvet chikankari kurta.
- The core steps that follow up with the making of a chikankari kurta, be it a velvet chikankari kurta or not, are designing, engraving, block printing, stitching, and then washing.
When it comes to products of Chikankari, the House of Chikankari has velvet kurta for women and men, sarees, lehengas, salwars, skirts, materials, and such. Styling these velvet chikankari kurta is easy and simple. If you are opting for only the kurta, then you go for pairing it up with palazzos, regular trousers, or even churidars as such.
Thus, this is all the information that was there to know about the world of velvet chikankari, which has been exceptionally inspired by Mughal Aesthetics.