Fabrics And materials used in chikankari embroidery

Fabrics and Materials Used in Chikankari Embroidery: An Art Rooted in Tradition

Posted by Hariharan Arumugam on

The world of fashion is vast and varied, with each culture bringing its unique flair and techniques to the table. Among the myriad of art forms, Chikankari embroidery stands out for its intricate details, delicate patterns, and deep roots in Indian history. 

But what makes Chikankari so special? Much of its beauty lies in the fabrics and materials that serve as the canvas for this centuries-old craft. 

Dive in with us as we unravel the Fabrics and materials behind the beloved Chikankari embroidery.

A Short but Rich History of Chikankari

Before we delve into the fabrics, it's essential to understand the rich history behind Chikankari. Originating from the Indian city of Lucknow, Chikankari is a testament to the nimble fingers of the artisans who have been passing down this art form for generations.

At Nama:Stay, we believe in cherishing these artisans, making it possible for their tales to weave through every stitch and pattern.

Preferred Fabrics for Chikankari

Chikankari embroidery's charm lies in its adaptability to a variety of fabrics. However, certain materials accentuate the finesse of the stitches better:


Cotton serves as an excellent base due to its comfort and breathability. The cotton chikankari fabric's durability ensures that the intricate designs remain intact for a long time. Cotton is one of the best fabric for chikankari & is also best for summer because of its superior breathability, comfiness, high tensile strength, natural colouring, high durability, softness, absorbency, dye retention and lightweight.

Chikankari kurta in pure cotton


Often considered the most traditional fabric for Chikankari, muslin is delicate, lightweight, and allows for the detailed work to shine through. Hand embroidered chikankari on muslin looks the best.

Chikankari kurta in muslin


Mulmul is the softest, finest and most durable cotton option available for chikankari crafts. It's ideal for light plus heavy chikankari embroidery.

Chikankari kurta in mulmul

Modal Cotton:

Modal fabric is a bio-based fabric that is made from spinning beech tree cellulose. Modal is generally considered a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton because beech trees don't require much water to grow. Modal is up to 50 per cent more absorbent than cotton, so clothes never feel sweaty and sticky. If you are someone who sweats a lot in summer, modal is a better option for you than cotton. It is flexible as well, making it a good fabric for chikankari.  It's lightweight, breathable, and optimized for moisture absorption keeping your skin dry and cool during the summer. Chikankari Kurtas on modal fabric are the most loved kurta by Nama:Stay Community.

 Kota Cotton:

Kota fabric has the same strength as cotton plus the lustrous and soft texture of silk. The fine blend of cotton and silk makes this fabric light and breathable, thus making this the most favorable fabric for summer. Especially for chikankari occasion wear, like bridal suits and trousseau.


Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber, made from natural sources of regenerated cellulose, such as wood and related agricultural products. It has the same molecular structure as cellulose.

Rayon is quite similar to cotton and linen. It is cool and comfortable to wear as it does not trap body heat, and absorbs water easily, making it well suited to tropical conditions. This is why it is an especially good fabric for summer. Chikankari garments crafted on rayon have a flair and are perfect for boat casual office wear chikankari or occasion wear.


This lightweight, sheer fabric lends a touch of luxury to Chikankari work, making it perfect for elegant evening wear. Chiknkari clothing crafted in georgette is a great choice for winter weather conditions.

Chanderi Silk

The shimmering surface of silk provides a contrasting backdrop, which elevates the ethereal quality of Chikankari embroidery. Chikankari on chanderi silk or kota silk are great choices for evening wear, winder wedding, bridesmaids outfits and even bridal trousseau.

Also Read: The Artful Process of How Chikankari is Done

Threads and Tools

The essence of Chikankari lies in its threads. Traditionally, white threads were used on cool, pastel shades of fabric. However, with modern innovations, artisans now use colored threads to add a vibrant twist to the traditional designs.

The needles used are also of great significance. Different types of needles, varying in size and sharpness, determine the precision and design of the stitch. Each needle type brings out a different texture and look in the final product.

Nama:Stay's Dedication to Sustainability

At Nama:Stay, sustainability is at the heart of our mission. In our curation of Chikankari Kurtas and chikankari bottom wears like chikankari pants and palazzos, we ensure the fabrics and materials used are sourced ethically. We are committed to earth-conscious practices, supporting artisans in their journey and promoting an ecosystem where every exchange uplifts the community.

In Conclusion

Chikankari embroidery is more than just stitches on fabric. It's a story, an emotion, and a testament to the dedication of artisans who have kept this art alive against the tides of time. By understanding the fabrics and materials that form the core of Chikankari, we appreciate the craft even more. Join Nama:Stay in celebrating this beautiful art form and the talented hands behind it.

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