How to Identify Real and Fake Chikankari? - Chikankari Authenticity guide

How to Identify Real and Fake Chikankari? - Chikankari Authenticity guide

Posted by Hariharan Arumugam on

Chikankari, an emblem of Indian cultural heritage, is renowned for its delicate hand embroidery stemming from the heart of Lucknow. 

As the demand for this intricate artwork surges globally, we also see the surge in machine embroidered chikankari in the markets. Most people fail to identify the computerized chikankari and are blown away by the cheap rates available in the market. The handicraft chikankari is important to preserve and therefore it is of paramount importance to distinguish between genuine Chikankari and its counterfeits. 

We have listed below some key factors for identifying authentic Chikankari, preserving both the art's integrity and your investment.

If you don't know the Rich history Read this article - History and more about Chikankari Embroidery

Understanding Chikankari

Before we jump into identifying real and fake Chikankari, it's essential to understand the art form itself. Chikankari involves hand-embroidering intricate patterns onto fabric, typically cotton or silk, using white thread. The motifs often feature flowers, paisleys, and other nature-inspired elements. The result is a beautiful, ethereal piece of clothing or home decor.

hand embroidered chikankari design closeup

Identifying Authentic Chikankari

Hand Embroidered vs. Machine-made

Authentic Chikankari is handmade. The intricate stitches, the variations in design, and the sheer artistry involved are hard to replicate by machines. One can closely inspect the stitches; if they seem too perfect and uniform, it's likely machine-made.

Also check for any lil imperfections like loose knots of different sizes or unevenly spaced threads. These could mean the artisan ended some threads and started weaving from different spots. Also check for loose threads at the back of the fabric.

artisan tracing chikankari embroidery design

Texture of the Fabric

Real Chikankari is generally done on pure cotton, silk, or georgette. These fabrics allow the detailed work to shine through. Fakes might use cheaper, synthetic materials that don't carry the embroidery as gracefully.

chikankari kurtas stacked in godown

Complexity of Design

Genuine Chikankari boasts complex designs, often depicting flowers, paisleys, or geometric patterns. The stitches vary, from the basic 'Bakhiya' (shadow work) to the more elaborate 'Murri' and 'Phanda'. If the design seems overly simplistic or lacks variety in stitching, be cautious.

Price

Handmade Chikankari is labor-intensive, and artisans spend hours, sometimes days, on a single piece. As such, authentic pieces come with a higher price tag. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Conserving and Celebrating Authenticity

Protecting the legacy of Chikankari is a collective responsibility. By investing in genuine pieces, not only do you adorn yourself with a piece of history but also support the artisans and their craft. Knowledge is power, and understanding Chikankari's nuances ensures its preservation for future generations.

Shop Nama: Stay - Your Trusted Source for Authentic Chikankari

Shop Nama: Stay is dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of Chikankari. We offer a wide range of Chikankari Kurtas from various sizes, colors and designs, hand embroidered in Awadh by our artisans. What sets Shop Nama: Stay apart is our commitment to authenticity. 

We work directly with skilled artisans in Lucknow,  who have mastered the craft over generations, ensuring that every piece they offer is genuine Chikankari.

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