There are different stages that a Chikankari garment goes through before it reaches the stores for sales. The garment goes through these processes putting everyone’s livelihood in their pockets at every stage on its way. These are the stages that are prevalent today since the Mughal times, and not must has changed in the processing.
1- BLOCK CRAVING:
The foundation of any design is developed in this step in which a skilled woodblock carving craftsman carves the design of the khakha with the chiselling tools ona wooden block. This is an age-old skill passed down from generations.
2-BLOCK PRINTING (CHAPPAI):
The carved woodblock is dipped into a try of a neel, amber/gum, and water solution to catch hold of the pigment and then hand block printed on the fabric. In many of our designs, we use blocks that are literally centuries old and have been passed down as family treasures.
The Karigar women follow the chappai imprints to hand embroider various chikankari stitches. There are said to be around 32 stitches in this craft. One of our main aims is to constantly keep most of the stitches widely showcased in our collections even the hard ones which only skilled karigars can perform.
Mukaish being the hit number one embellishment clubbed with Chikankari, the art is widely present in the Awadh region. It is a technique of had embellishing thin metal strips on fabric minutely giving it a circular tiny knot kind of a flattened finish. There are more variations to it like mukaish ghas patti, etc. Pearl work and Cut Dana are also popular types of the hand embellishing embroideries to highlight a Chikankari garment.
Washing is an integral part of the process in Chikankari. Even today thousands of pieces are washed in a traditional manner at the Gomti Ghat. It is said that the formulas of the material used to wash off the chikankari neel from the garments are passed on from the father washerman to the son only and kept a secret. Or is just the Gomti water doing the trick..?
6-STITCHING AND FINISHING:
After the wash, the garment is stitched by our skilled tailors. A strict quality check is done before packing the garment to be shipped to the end customer.