What goes behind the making of age-old Chikankari: From the craftworkers of Ada Chikan in Lucknow
Finding its roots to and synonymous with Awadh, the qala of Chikankari is renowned globally for its intricacies and elegance. While, today, everyone takes pride in donning a culturally-symbolic Chikan ensemble, not many know what goes behind the delicate work.
In an enlightening conversation with the designers and craftsmen at ADA Designer Chikan Studio, a Chikankari-only major in the city, we learnt about the age-old craft. Did you know that behind the graceful and unique designs, there lies historic and ancient narratives woven together to create beauty?
The hard-work & time that goes into the making of Chikankari: Tete-a-tete with craftworkers of Ada
From carefully cutting the fabrics and giving them shape, stitching the patterns to block-printing and execution of effervescent embroidery of Chikan on the garbs and washing, the process is one that is long and thoughtful.
"It all starts with an idea that transforms into a plan. After this, we create sketches and figure out the silhouette, placements, trims and laces, all prior to forming a flat sketch. It is after the fabric procurement that we implement it," a designer at Ada Chikan tells Knocksense.
Once the tailor works on the fabric, stitches it, the product is issued for block printing (chapai) with a blend of traditional Indigo dye and glue. The design thus created further requires stitching, which alone takes 10-15 days. Finally, the cloth goes for washing, ironing and then finishing. Then the product is embellished with finishing touches like decorative threads, buttons, etc. And voila! Your resplendent Chikan garment is ready to be donned and rocked.
Taking the Chikan craft global ft Ada Chikan
However, the amount of time and effort that goes beyond the designs we see is tremendous. And, today, we pay a tribute to the hard-working artisans who weave their magical wands to give birth to these beautiful designs.
And Ada, a stalwart of Chikankari in the modern fashion industry, is known to support a strong network of local craftsworkers and artisans. Ada's vision is simple yet poetic — curating the craft of Lucknow Chikan and proffering it to all, exhibiting it globally.
Such is the fame and success of the heritage craft today that Ada Chikan created a masterpiece that took a whopping 3 years in making. And, this skillful work was recently sold at ₹21 lakh to a Dubai family.
Established in 2005, the brand continues to produce handcrafted Indian textiles with passion and love in a plethora of embroidered colours and an array of variety in designs.
P.S. Ada Chikan is delivering worldwide. Check out www.adachikan.com for more info.
Location: Twin store in Hazratganj:
68, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Hazratganj, Lucknow