Lucknow Chikankari Manufacturing Process
Lucknow might be famous for its nawab culture, lip-smacking biryani, and adab. Still, one more thing that makes Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, more remarkable: the world-famous Lucknow Chikankari. The traditional Chikankari embroidery is always in demand, and there is no other place on the planet where such art of embroidery is present.
Chikankari is an embroidery work done with the white cotton thread on the fine white cotton material. Chikankari is world-famous because of its beauty and elegance and because of this 300-year-old art form. This long tradition of embroidery work itself makes the Chikankari special.
Nowadays, Chikankari is ubiquitous in wardrobe choices, and it is believed that Chikankari was first introduced by Noor Jehan, wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir. Keeping the tradition of Chikankari alive during all these years, we have found one of the rare and unique forms of embroidery that is now famous in every corner of the world.
For all those who are Chikankari fiend who wants to know more about it, here is a detailed explanation of how the special Chikankari is manufactured.
What goes in the Lucknow Chikankari Manufacturing Process?
Selection of fabric
In making Chikankari Lucknow Kurti online, the manufacturer first decides on the type of fabric the embroidery needs to be done. The type of fabric selected has a direct impact on the final product. Therefore, manufacturers shrug off all the chances of a wrong or bad quality fabric by following a standard procedure.
The manufacturer garners a sample of fabric from 10-12 mills. After checking the quality of the product, the final decision on the type of fabric is made. This process can take 1-2 weeks as even the decision of the number of clothes on which Chikankari needs to be done made during this stage. It also marks the beginning of the Chikankari manufacturing process.
Cutting of fabric in desired measurements
After deciding on the type of fabric and quantity, the next stage of Chikankari manufacturing begins, which is cutting fabric in desired measurements. That needs to be done with precision by the tailor. That is why manufacturers hire experienced and skilled tailors who have been working on such manufacturing processes for generations.
The manufacturer gets the fabric stitched from the tailor according to the size in demand, especially when there is a need for a stitched item like Lucknow Kurti online. The running stitch is given to the cloth after cutting it in the desired shape.
Block printing process of the design
The third stage is the block printing process of the design. It is one of the unique steps involved in the manufacturing process of Chikankari, and this is what makes Chikankari embroidery more special.
The block printing process involved in the manufacturing is also known as ‘chhappayi’ in Lucknow. The process begins with printing the design required on the plain fabric. Then the wooden block is dipped in the color solution, and this color solution is a mixture of indigo and glue.
For different patterns, different blocks are used. For example, there will be a separate block for floral designs, and for borders, there will be a completely different block. In the local market of Lucknow, block printing is done by skilled workers are who are experts in printing.
The skilled workers are also known as chhappayi masters, and the entire block printing process can take anywhere around 2-3 weeks, as per the precision and price. The completion of the block printing process makes the fabric ready for embroidery work.
Embroidery job work of Lucknow Chikankari
After the block printing process for getting the final product in Lucknowi Kurti online, the manufacturer sends printed dresses to a local artisan who does the Chikankari embroidery on the printed dresses.
The Chikankari embroidery has been in the blood of the local artisans of Lucknow for the past three centuries. It is being carried down from one generation to another. The Chikankari embroidery artisans are usually ladies living in the outskirts of Lucknow, and the manufacturer sends the printed dresses directly to these ladies.
You will be surprised to know that in some cases, the embroidery work can take from 1-6 months, depending on the detailing and the area of the dress that requires Chikankari embroidery.
Washing and polishing
Once the artwork is completed, the cloth is washed by the manufacturer to get rid of the ink. The ink is also known as block printed blue color. The washing and polishing of the Chikankari embroidery are also known as charakh locally.
The dress is first soaked in water then washed to remove the ink. After that, the dress or what can become Lucknowi Kurti online is soaked, stretched, and ironed to get the required stiffness. The final product is almost ready for the market.
Thread cutting, final finishing, and packing
In the final part of the Chikankari manufacturing process, thread cutting by experts is done to make the dress impeccable. This final finishing that involves double-checking the dress is also done. In the end, the dress is packaged and made available in the market.
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