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Stitches of Chikankari

The basic stitches are six in number and all except one are common to other forms of embroidery.

1) Tepchi is a long running or darning stitch worked with six strands on the right side of the
fabric taken over four threads and picking up one. Thus, a line is formed. It is used principally
as a basis for further stitchery and occasionally to form a simple shape.

2) Bakhiya, double back or shadow stitch in chikan work is done from the wrong side of the
fabric and the design is rendered in the herringbone style. The shadow of the thread is seen
through the cloth on the right side.

3) Hool is a fine detached eyelet stitch. Herein, a hole is punched in the fabric and the threads
are teased apart. It is then held by small straight stitches all round and worked with one
thread on the right side of the fabric. It can be worked with six threads and often forms the
center of a flower.
Stitches of Chikankari
4) Zanzeera is a small chain stitch worked with one thread on the right side of the fabric. Being
extremely fine, it is used to finally outline the leaf or petal shapes after one or more outlines
have already been worked.

5) Rahet is a stem stitch worked with six threads on the wrong side of the fabric. It forms a
solid line of back stitch on the right side of the fabric and is rarely used in its simple form but
is common in the double form of dohra bakhiya as an outlining stitch.

6) Banarsi stitch has no European equivalent and is a twisted stitch worked with six threads on
the right side of the fabric. Working from the right across about five threads a small stitch is
taken over about two threads vertically. The needle is reinserted halfway along and below
the horizontal stitch formed and is taken out about two threads vertically on the right above
the previous stitch.

7) Khatau is similar to Bakhia, but finer and is a form of applique. In Khatau, the design is
prepared on calico material. That is placed over the surface of the final fabric and then paisley
and floral patterns are stitched on to it.

8) Phanda and Murri are the forms of stitches used to embroider the centre of the flowers in
ordinary chikan work motifs. They are typically French knots, with murri being rice-shaped
and phanda millet-shaped.

9) Jali stitch is the one where the thread is never drawn through the fabric, ensuring that the
back portion of the garment looks as impeccable as the front. The warp and weft threads are
carefully drawn apart and minute buttonhole stitches are inserted into the cloth.

10) Turpai and Darzdari are also significant stitches in chikan work. Turpai should have an
effect of a thin thread. Darzdari have several varieties, the popular ones are Kohidarz,
Kamal darz, Shankarpara darz, Muchii and Singbhada darz.

11) The various other types of legendary chikankari stitches are: 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 etc.

12) Drifting apart from the original pristine setting, the tone-on-tone embroidery is in vogue
these days. The significant use of beads, sequin and mokaish (white flat silver strip
embroidery) have gained wide acceptance.

FabricIn addition to the white base fabric, colored fabrics and threads are also used. Silk and cotton threads are employed for embroidery work on sarees, dupattas, table linen and kurtas. Cotton being the most preferred choice, chikankari is also done on mulls, muslins, voiles, organzas and polyester. Some more include: chiffon, viscose, georgette, polyester georgette, cotton crepe and net. The designs change every other month, as per the market trends, with colors that perfectly match with the season

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