Did You know that Nur Jahan brought the art of “Chikankari” to India in the 15th Century ?

Did you know that Chikankari made its way to India all the way from Persia ?

Did you know that Delhi was the hub of “Chikankari” in the Mughal Era and Bahadur Shah Zafar promoted it and made it a bread-winner for millions ?

Get to know about the illustrated history of ” Chikankari” and much more in the book  ” Chikankari: A Lucknawi tradition” authored by Paola Manfredi and published by Niyogi Books.

Chikankari is one of the finest traditional embroideries of India, a symbol of Lucknawi culture and elegant courts of the nawabs of Awadh. Chikankari appeared in Lucknow in the late 18th century and its exquisite aesthetic and craftsmanship has sustained the tradition to this day, through changing patronage and market trends.

Chikankari is not just about embroidery. Its legendary finesse is based on a creative blend of the delicate embroidery with very fine dressmaking and sewing techniques. This beautifully illustrated book showcases unknown gems from personal and public collections, and brings to life the history of this unique craft tradition. The various chapters describe the mysterious origins of the craft, the range of costumes, the inspirations behind it motifs, the time-honoured elaborate production process, and the bewildering array of stitches that raised this craft to a truly exceptional art form.

About the Author: 

Born in Italy, Paola Manfredi lived and worked in India for over thirty years. With a background in ethnology, she is passionate about textiles and deeply interested in the history of textile exchanges between East and West. Combining scholarly approach and design interactions, she has worked with craftspeople and their traditional skills to promote the excellence of South Asian craftsmanship particularly in Aary, Chikankari from Lucknow and Nakshi Kantha from East Bengal, today Bangladesh.