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