Chikankari has always been a summer favorite for its sheer lightness of the fabric and texture. So how did the name Chikankari get coined? Legend has it that a traveler was passing through Lucknow and he was given water by a local farmer. He was so touched by the hospitality that he imparted the knowledge of Chikankari.
The word Chikan has its roots in Persian word – Chikeen which means Needlework (Embroidery) and Kari means work. Another popular story is that Chikankari was introduced by Nur Jehan, Queen Wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. She loved the art of embroidery and the king gave much needed recognition and royal patronage by establishing workshops across the kingdom where this art was practiced.
Historians also suggest the presence of Chikankari in the famous paintings of Ajanta caves dating back to the time of king Harsha, 9th century BC. The king was a big fan of white embroidered, muslin embroidery cloth. Some say even Chandragupta Maurya had propagated this exquisite art but there are no substantial evidences. This goes on to prove that Chikankari has been popular from centuries and it continues to rule the fashion world till date.
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