Chikankari – Stitch through time – Part 2


This is in continuation with the previous post.   Let’s look at the remaining Chikankari stitches some of which have faded into oblivion. History has it that there were 39 types of Chikankari stitches but today we know only about 30 kinds of stitches which are in practice.

Jali stitch – This is a unique stich in which the thread is never drawn through the fabric. This is done to certify that both the sides of the garment looks the same. The warp and weft threads are carefully drawn apart and minute buttonhole stitches are inserted into the cloth. Jali stich is normally done by tearing apart the threads of the cloth and making minute buttonhole stitches

Keel kangan: This particular stich is used to enhance floral motifs and butties

Hool: is a fine detached eyelet stitch. Worked with six threads it forms the heart of a flower

Zanzeera: A tiny fine chain stitch which is used to contour the leaf/petal silhouette after one or more outlines have been shaped.

Rahet: This is a stem stitch which is rarely used in its simple form but collectively known in the double form of dohra bakhiya

Banarsi: A twisted stitch worked with six threads on the right side of the fabric.

Khatau: This stitch is similar to Bakhia but is more refined. It is a form of applique. The design is prepared on calico, placed over the surface of the final fabric and then paisley and floral patterns are stitched on to it

Turpai and Darzdari are also significant in chikan work. Here are some non-familiar Chikankari stitches –

  • Zanzeera
  • Rahet
  • Banarsi
  • Khatau
  • Phanda”
  • Turpai
  • Darzdari
  • Pechani
  • Bijli
  • Ghaspatti
  • Makra
  • Kauri
  • Hathkadi
  • Banjkali
  • Sazi
  • Karan
  • Kapkapi
  • Madrazi
  • Bulbul-chasm
  • Taj Mahal
  • Janjeera
  • Kangan
  • Dhania-patti
  • Rozan
  • Meharki
  • Chanapatti
  • Baalda
  • Jora
  • Keel kangan
  • Bulbul
  • Sidhaul
  • Ghas ki patti

Lot of research is being done in Chikankari embroidery but most of the styles have faded away into oblivion. Please write in to us if you know about these stitches and we at RZUstyle will be happy to share your tidbit. RZUstyle houses the latest authentic Chikankari collection. Do log into our website – to know more about us.


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