Short Kurti

Chikan is a traditional embroidery style from Lucknow, India. Literally translated, the word means embroidery. Believed to have been introduced by Nur Jehan, the wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir, it is one of Lucknow's best known textile decoration styles. The market for local chikan is mainly in Chowk, Lucknow. There are several theories about the origin of chikan. The process of chikan was basically invented in Lucknow. It developed quickly during the period when the Mughals ruled and consisted of styles inspired by foreigners. Lucknow grew into an international market for its renowned chikan work. There are references to Indian chikan work as early as 3rd century BC by Megasthenes, who mentioned the use of flowered muslins by Indians. There is also a tale that mentions how a traveler taught chikan to a peasant in return of water to drink. However, the Noor Jahan story is the most popular of the lot. Chikan began as a type of white-on-white (or whitework) embroidery.

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