Chikankari in its true form is strictly an art of hand embroidery and is NOT DONE by machine. There has overtime developed a supply of cheap machine embroidery mimicking certain Chikankari stitches sold in name of real Chikankari and mislead the consumer in the market.
It is only through educating and spreading awareness can we help you differentiate between authentic hand embroidered Chikankari and machine embroidery.
We urge every consumer to be aware of the garment journey and how and where it is manufactured.
HOW CAN ONE DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN MACHINE MADE AND HAND EMBROIDERED CHIKANKARI?
- CHECK THE BACKSIDE FINISH OF THE GARMENT: One can turn over to the back side of the embroidery and check of irregularities like hanging knots of different sizes or threads running at different intervals suggesting that the karigar has ended threads and started new from different places. You will immediately get a feel of human touch. Whereas in a machine-made embroidered garment the back finishing will be very definite, clean and in a symmetry with no knotting and thread ending hanging around.
- LOOK FOR CERTAIN STITCHES IN THE GARMNET: The machine cannot replicate every stitch of Chikankari. Most common depiction created by machine are of Bakhiya (shadow stitch), pattis, phandas, holes and pechni. If the garment has a combination of other intricate stitches like Bijli, murri, dhum pattis, kante, it is most probably real. This is the reason why we try to include several stitches in one garment itself. Beware of machine- made Jaali too. This might not be quite easy for everyone to ascertain, since a person need to have good knowledge of the craft and the formation of stitches.
- RESEARCH ABOUT THE GARMENT JOURNEY: One can ask questions to the retailer about the garment’s manufacturing journey. Look up the brand on social media and check if they talk about how the garment is manufactured and ask them about the stitches in the garment. One can definitely gauge from there whether the retailer/designer is offering authentic hand embroidered Chikankari or not.