Chikankari is a traditional embroidery style that originated in the City of Lucknow, India, in the late 18th century. Lucknow, the capital of the Awadh region in northern India, was known for its rich cultural heritage, exquisite architecture, and the patronage of the arts by the ruling Nawabs.
Chikankari embroidery is characterized by delicate white threadwork on a fine muslin fabric, and is traditionally done by hand using a needle and thread. The embroidery typically features floral and paisley motifs, and is done on a variety of garments including sarees, kurtas, dupattas, and even home decor items like bedspreads and tablecloths.
The history of Chikankari dates back to the Mughal era, when it was introduced to Lucknow by the wife of the Mughal emperor, Nur Jahan. The art form flourished under the patronage of the Nawabs of Awadh, who were known for their love of luxury and refinement. The Nawabs themselves were often depicted wearing intricately embroidered garments, and would commission Chikankari embroiderers to create elaborate pieces for their royal court.
Over time, Chikankari became a popular art form among the common people of Lucknow, and today it is recognized as an important part of the city’s cultural heritage. While traditional Chikankari embroidery is still done by hand, modern techniques like machine embroidery have also been developed to cater to the growing demand for this beautiful art form.