25/15 The Speciality of Chikankari

Jaali work is a technique that is somewhat similar to thread work and involves making holes in the fabric. However, the method of doing so is different from the tradition of punching holes in to the cloth. Jaali work involves pulling the warp and weft threads apart with a needle without breaking the continuity of the fabric.

Jaali Work (Image-fashiontrendsandtipsblog)

Names of jaali techniques suggest the place where they originated from — Madrasi jaali or Bengali jaali —- or possibly the place of demand for that particular jaali. The basic manner in which jaalis are created is by pushing aside wrap and weft threads in a fashion that minute openings are made in the cloth. Shape of openings and the stitches used distinguish one jaali from another.

The inspiration for this jaali stitch is rumoured to have come from the fact that Nur Jahan,  queen to Mughal Emperor Jahangir, had a special interest for Turkish architecture. This desire to replicate the same (jaali work on windows) on fabric is said to have given rise to jaali stitch.

Jaali Works in Mughal Architecture (Image-mediacacheak0.pinimg)

Due to the way the jaali is created, the fabric is not compromised and is just as strong as it was meant to be. Therefore, maintenance of the garment becomes easy. Regular washing and ironing techniques are fit for garments with jaali work on them.


[1]Pedia, T. (2017). Jaali Work : Most Famous Form of Chikankari Embroidery Clothing. [online] Utsavpedia. Available at: http://www.utsavpedia.com/motifs-embroideries/jaali-work/ [Accessed 5 Feb. 2017].

[2]Craftandartisans.com. (2017). Chikan Embroidery of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh | The Craft and Artisans. [online] Available at: http://www.craftandartisans.com/chikan-embroidery-of-lucknow-uttar-pradesh.html [Accessed 5 Feb. 2017].


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