Bliss and blessing,
I sought and I searched
Amidst grey's embrace,
I remain untouched
the time with its lure
And lo, hither I discover my soul so pure.
I Am Pure
Once upon a time, during the times of Mughal Era, a karigar picked up up a needle and went on to stitch the hum in his heart. From that time up until now, Chikankari embroidery has thirty six different stitching techniques that in today's times are often combined with embellishments of pearls, mirror, katdana, aari work and mukaish.
The name 'Chikan' has been derived from the Persian word 'Chikan' or 'Chikeen', meaning a kind of cloth wrought with needle work.
Known as the most ancient decoration style,nearly two hundred years old, Chikankari traces it's origins as a court craft during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir and was introduced by his wife Noor Jahan. It later enjoyed the patronage of the Nawabs of Awadh (Lucknow).
Handmade Chikankari apparels are so much different than the machine-made clones of theirs. They aren’t made in a day, the making of one apparel takes several days, sometimes weeks or months. Handmade embroidery allows for a variety of stitches, thread and fabric. Every work is an art-piece; unique in its own way. Even if an apparel is duplicated with the same pattern, it is the needle artist’s discretion that makes each piece a one of a kind work of art. It’s what makes hand embroidered clothing so sought after.
'Chikan Sazi' is the exquisite needle work of fine and delicate floral patterns stitched using untwisted cotton and silk threads. The patterns are mostly inspired by Mughal architecture and the cloth used can be cotton, muslin, chiffon, georgette, organza, chanderi, etc.
We believe that handmade embroidery possesses a certain dimension and depth to it that is lacked by the machine-made work.
A hand-embroidered piece tells a story with each stitch that is created. It is a labor of love of that particular embroiderer, a slow process that involves many hours of work, which is so valuable because of the craftsmanship. “The reason why many fashion retrospectives draw thousands of footfalls, or why textile collections of museums are so remarkable is because needlework, especially when rendered by hand, is considered timeless,” notes Bollywood stylist Anisha Pillai.
Machine embroidery is very uniform and each piece, if multiple items are stitched, are all identical and hence, loses its collective value.
A handmade embroidered apparel is a keepsake. It definitely costs more than a machine-made piece owing to the hard work that goes in making it, but the quality of work, quality of thread used and the quality of material surpasses the machine-made pieces by far. The authentic makes you pay, but it makes your every spent rupee worth it. For us each piece is unique and close to our heart. We focus on wearable, bespoke clothes that are comfortable and chic.
Pakeeza strives to revive this Lucknowi elegance of exquisite workmanship, a timeless art form and works closely with various karagirs that create sheer beauty out of a piece of cloth and make it possible for us to bring you the intricate art at your doorstep. We urge you to buy the authentic. Dexterous hands painstakingly craft each weave, the process of fabrication is truly a labor of love, during which some apparels may get a minor spot or two. You may appreciate that, as this is an unavoidable part of the process.