Chikankari or chikan work is a subtle white on white embroidery generally hand embroidered on a lightweight cotton originating from Lucknow, India. There are about 36 minute delicate stitches that play on shadows, textures and motifs but we mostly employ one stitch - the bakhiya stitch or shadow stitch in repetitive geometric patters. One generally wears these airy chikan clothes during the hot and humid Indian summers.
Indigo is a living and breathing natural dye that we love using. The color is derived from the indigofera plant and goes through an intensive process, including fermentation to derive the rich blue color. Beyond its beauty and alchemy, indigo has a very complex social, political and economic history behind it. Natural indigo always bleeds, so we remind you to handwash your indigo clothes separately and avoid wearing it with light colors.
Chapai is the preliminary stencilling of the fabric in preparation for embroidery. The khaka is a drawing of the art work on vellum paper which has been perforated, so that the image can be stenciled onto the fabric with a mixture of oil and zinc powder.
Aari ka kaam is an intricate and labor intensive embroidery technique with an immense repetoire of stitches that uses a fine awl-like needle. Our artisans use the fine needle to pull loops of thread through the fabrics surface while applying the chosen material to embellish the fabric, such as sequins, zari thread, dabka coils & silk thread.