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If legend is to be believed, then the chikan style of embroidery was first introduced by Nur Jahan, wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, for whom the Taj Mahal was built. Chikaneri is famed for the intricacies of its art and its weavers are acclaimed for their skill. To achieve the Chikan effect, blocks of wood are first engraved with the design. The design is then imprinted on the fabric using a special dye. Weavers embroider over this print, carefully washing the fabric afterwards. Up to thirty six different types of stitches are employed in chikaneri, such as zanzeera (chain), jali (mesh), hathkadi (handcuffs), and bijli (lightning bolt). To achieve even greater levels of intricacy in these already delicate patterns, the cloth is often parted using the needle, to allow for designs to weave in and out of the minuscule gaps.
Lucknow chikan saris are works of art. Light and supple fabrics, paired with floral motifs embroidered on the borders and pallus in the chikan style make them perfect for occasions that require fluidity in movement with the appeal of tradition, such as wedding sangeets.