Chikankari embroidery stitches, it is combination of basic stitches and few stitches unique in itself and exclusively used in chikankari embroidery. In chikankari, one has to play with number of strands. Beauty of a stitch depends on, selecting number of strands to work a stitch and if proper number of strands correctly accessed for each stitch, then even a simple stitch looks different.
In this project, stitches that i worked are Rahet, Tepchi, Phanda, Keel, Balda, Ghass patti ,Bhakya, Rozan, Janjira . I know these names sounds different, Its lucknowi Mughal terms of describing stitch names in chikankari. So let me break it down to simpler version, in the form of basic simple stitch language.
|Stitches Used in Chikankari|
Above picture describes which stitch used exactly where. Let me start with center main stem, the main stem is worked with " Balda " stitch. Observe below picture.
|Working Instruction of Balda stitch|
|Phanda, Bakhya, Janjira stitches|
Observe above picture, the petals in flower is worked with " Bakhya " stitch and 3 strands of thread is used. " Bakhya " is Herringbone stitch or double back stitch. Here herringbone stitch is worked in reverse manner where only back stitch is visible in front and actual crossing is at back side as shown in below picture.
To highlight this flower, " Janjira " stitch is worked with single strand of thread around the petals. " Janjira " is chain stitch. In chikankari, Janjira is mainly used to highlight a motif and some prefer to work janjira stitch with tambour needle. Center of flower is worked with " Rozan ". " Rozan " is eyelet stitch worked with 2 strands of thread. First running stitch is worked around circle and later running stitch is couched by making hole in center.
Observe above picture, " Phanda " stitch is worked to form small leaves. " Phanda " stitch is detached chain. Phanda stitch is worked with 3 or 4 strands of thread and work detached chain for 3 times one upon the other to get embossed effect.
|Tepchi, Balda, Bakhya stitches|
|Ghass patti, Keel, Bakhya stitches|
In above picture, center of flower is worked with " Keel " stitch using 6 strands of thread. Center of " Keel " stitch is worked with phanda and around phanda, Roman stitch is worked. Below picture shows working of roman stitch. Start at point 1 ie come out at point 1 and go back at point 2, then come out point 3 and end at point 4.
Around keel , bakhya stitch is worked. And for petals " Ghass patti " stitch is worked. " Ghass Patti " is fishbone stitch worked with 6 strands of thread. Working of fishbone stitch is shown below.
In below picture, two leaves are worked with Bakhya stitch and highlighted with Janjira stitch.
|Bakhya, Janjira stitches|
Simple stitches worked with proper number of strands and appropriate stitches for each design makes any motif look good. Chikankari embroidery is usually done on white fabric and white thread or on pastel shades fabric and its matching thread. But while working with colored threads and using same number of strands as mentioned above, sometimes it looks odd. So one has to be very careful while working with colored threads. Try to vary number of strands while working with colored threads, bit of trial and error is required to know how many strands of thread is required to work with colored threads.
Hope you all enjoyed this post on chikankari stitches. To all my embroidery friends wishing you all " Happy New Year ". Keep stitching !!!!!