Unique Craft Of Lucknow
Chikankari is synonymous to Lucknow. Chikankari is to Lucknow what Coal is to Liverpool. A substantial part of the population in the old Lucknow area earns their livelihood engaging in some or other activity of related to Chikankari. Chikankari is actually a very complex and delicate form of embroidery that primarily uses muslin clothes. This kind of embroidery is only confined to the city of Lucknow. The term 'Chikankari' has originated from the Persian word Chikan that means muslin wrought with needlework. Nevertheless, this art has nothing to do with Persia. It developed in the courts of Nawabs and Masabdars. As Persian was the court language then, the art borrowed its name from that.The chikan work of Lucknow is perhaps one of the most popular embroidery works in India. It has a certain grace and elegance, which ensures that it never goes out of style. The word chikan literally means embroidery. It is said to have been originally introduced by Nur Jahan, the beautiful wife of the Mughal emperor, Jahangir. It has since evolved and attained its glory and perfection in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The work became popular in a number of important cities of the Indo-Gangetic plain such as Delhi, Agra, Rampur, Banaras, Patna and Gaya. But the supremacy of Lucknow remained unchallenged.
Chikankari Of Lucknow
To think of Lucknow is to think of the famous embroidery of Chikan. Besides, redolent tunde kebabs, another specialty of Lucknow is the world famous Chikan embroidery. The tradition of chikankari is so much so a part of the the Lucknowites that people associate it with their lifestyle ans more over some people even earn their livelihood. Chikankari is actually a embroidery that adorns the muslin fabrics. It is perhaps the most popular form of embroidery. The embroidery has an aesthetic quality intact to it.
History of Chikankari
Restricted only to Lucknow, this embroidery is now gaining popularity all over the world. The term 'Chikankari' takes it origin from a Persian word Chikan meaning a muslin wrought with the use of needlework. Ironically the tradition of chikankari is not anyway related to Persia. Nawabs and Masabdars were a great admirer of this art. Persian being the court language, the embroidery derived its name. Started in the courts of Nawabs of Awadh, it was greatly patronized by them. Nawabs were the pioneer of fashion in those days. So the tradition of this embroidery remained limited to the royal nawabs and noblemen. But the British heralded and everything changed. Nawabs were no more into limelight and the lost their powers. Due to this downfall the artisans of chikankari sought new vistas and this is how the rat came popular with masses.
Stitches of Chikan Embroidery
The fabrics are made beautiful by the use of Chikankari. This art renders a lovely charm to the muslins. Nawabi culture and the art of chikan are entangled and identified with each other best. There are different types of stitches used in Chikankari. The artisans follow a defined set of application for stitches. These stitches vary from fabric to fabric. Like darn stitch is done on rough cotton fabrics to fill angular designs and satin stitching is carried out on tender and soft fabrics like silk, muslin, or linen. Some even require embroidery from the wrong side. All stitches have unique purpose and no one stitch can replace the other.
The Famous Stitches Of Chikankari
Taipchi, Pechni, Pashni, Bakhiya (Ulti and Sidhi Bakhiya), Appliqué, Gitti, Janjira, Murri, Fanda and Jaali
Lucknow Bazaars for Chikankari Shopping
Although the art is practiced by many all over India but Lucknow still holds prominence and it would not be an exaggeration to say that Lucknow is the home of Chikankari. Many local bazaars of Lucknow cater to the needs of fashion sprees. Where ladies have beautiful sarees and dress material with a new inclusion of lehnaga choli, the boys have exclusive Lucknowi kurta with gorgeous motifs. The art was previously limited to white or cream color but now Lucknow bazaars don chikan attires in almost every color.
The Famous Bazaars for Chikan Works
Chowk, Aminabad, Hazratganj, Nishatganj,and Aalambagh
The embroidery on our exquisite linens is called Zardosi. This work involves the use of gold and silver toned metallic threads, springs, coils and elements to embellish the surfaces of exotic sari popular in medievial time and now also many people prefer it for royal looks....Zardosi is a very famous kind of an embroidery done on fabrics with the help of golden,silver and multicolored metal threads
Besides chikan work the Zardozi and Kamdani works of Lucknow are also appreciated far and wide.
Dress with Chikan work or Ziardosi
Please share your experience of wearing a chikan embroidered dress
For centuries Lucknow has been famous for its various handicraft works. The Nawabs of Awadh were great patrons of fine arts of which the most well known is the exquisite Chikan workChikan is a unique craft involving delicate and artistic hand embroidery In a variety of textile fabric like muslin, siIk, chiffon, organza, doriya and organdi. There are 36 types of stitches used in chikan work. of which murri, bakhia, ,jali, tepchi, tappa, dhum, katao are widely used to produce exquisite designs. Lucknow has produced many renowned artisans of chikan work like Ustad Faiyaaz Khan and Hasan Mirza Saheb .
Apart from kurtas. sarees. salwar suits, topis, hankeys and dupattas, chikan embroidery is being used on new items I ike table covers, tray covers, napkins etc. The demand for these exquisite art pieces is ever increasing both in India and abroad. In Lucknow the main concentration of chikan work is to be found in the chowk locality and Daliganj.
Multiferious Craft Specialities Of Lucknow
Bidri and Zarbuland silver works of Lucknow
From time immemorial Lucknow is known for its jewellery and enamelling work.Exquisite silverwares like bowls, tea-sets, salt cellars with patterns of hunting scenes, snakes and roses are very popular. The Bidri and Zarbuland silver works of Lucknowfind expression on excellent pieces of huqqa farshi, jewel boxes, trays, bowls, cuff-Iinks, cigarette holders, etc. Life -like ivory and bone carvings from Lucknow with motifs of flowers, leaves, creepers, trees, birds and animals are widely appreciated. The master craftsmen create intricate items like knives, lamp shades, shirt pins and small toys. In fact the ivory works from this city continue to find a place at museums and private collections of connoisseurs
'Attar'('Itr') or perfumes which were introduced in India by the Muslims, reached a new hight in Lucknow. From the 19th century the Lucknow perfumers experimented and succeeded in making attar with del icate and lasting fragrances Created from various aromatic herbs, spices, sandal oil, musk essence of flowers, and leaves the famous Lucknowi fragrances
Fine pottery from Lucknow is yet another work of art that has captured the imagination of the consumers. The long necked water pitchers and huqqa farshi are specially popular
Lucknowi Paan, Zarda (chewing tobacco), and Khamira produced by the local tobacconists are hot favourites among consumers.
nother craft that has reached a high level of artistry in Lucknow is Kite making. Although Kite making is popular throughout India, this activity has attained perfection only in Lucknow. Under Nawabi patronage this form of art flourished in Lucknow and different types of Kites and flying strings were developed.
Besides these well known craft works, mention must be made to some other flourishing crafts like gota weaving, dyeing and calico printing, silver varq making, woodworks and tazia making. Beautiful tazias of zari, gold and silver paper are made by master craftsmen to mark the solemn occasion of Moharrum. All in all, with these multiferious craft specialities Lucknow promises to be a shoppers' delight that's hard to resist. In their own distinctive wav these crafts have provided employment to thousands, delighted many more and continues to keep alive the invaluable traditions of a magnificent city