What are the different types of Chikankari stitches?

Certainly! Chikankari, the exquisite hand embroidery from Lucknow, involves a variety of stitches that create intricate patterns on fabric. Here are some of the key stitches used in Chikankari:

1. Tepchi: A long running or darning stitch worked with six strands on the right side of the fabric. It’s often used as a basis for further stitchery or to form simple shapes.

2. Bakhiya: Also known as double back or shadow stitch, it’s done from the wrong side of the fabric. The design appears in a herringbone style on the right side.

3. Hool: A fine detached eyelet stitch. A hole is punched in the fabric, threads teased apart, and then held by small straight stitches. It’s commonly used at the center of a flower.

4. Zanzeera: A small chain stitch worked with one thread on the right side. It outlines leaf or petal shapes. 5. Rahet: A stem stitch worked with six threads on the wrong side. It forms a solid back stitch line on the right side and is often used in outlining.

6. Murri and Phanda: These are French knots used to embroider the center of flowers. Murri is rice-shaped, while phanda is millet-shaped.

7. Jali Stitch: The thread is never drawn through the fabric, ensuring both sides look impeccable. Buttonhole stitches are inserted into the cloth.

8. Turpai and Darzdari: Significant stitches in Chikankari, they add texture and depth to the embroidery.

These stitches, meticulously crafted, weave elegance and poetry into Chikankari garments!

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