- Chikan is a traditional embroidery style from Lucknow, India. Literally translated, the word means embroidery, and it is one of Lucknow’s best known textile decoration styles
- There are references to embroidery similar to chikan work in India as early as 3rd century BC by Megasthenes, who mentioned the use of flowered muslins by Indians.
- But these embroidered patterns lack any colour, ornamentation or anything spectacular to embellish it.
- According to Laila Tyabji, chikankari stems from the white-on-white embroidery of Shiraz and came to India as part of culture of Persian nobles at the Mughal court.
- There is also a tale that mentions how a traveler taught chikan to a peasant in return of water to drink.
- The most popular origin story credits Noor Jahan, Mughal empress and wife of Jahangir, with introducing chikankari to India