A Beginner's Guide To Style Chikankari

The Chikankari embroidery style is a traditional style of embroidery that originated in Lucknow, India. It is believed to have been introduced by the Mughal Emperor, Noor Jahan. Chikankari is one of the most popular embroidery styles in the world today because of its intricacy and versatility, and more so in its home country.

Chikankari is a delicate embroidery that adorns various fabrics and clothes with intricate patterns. It is a must-have for every Indian’s wardrobe. Whether you are going to a formal event or just want to dress up for a casual day out, Chikankari embroidered outfits will give you endless styling options to step out in trending style. This blog caters to the various ideas on how to style Chikankari Kurti.

What is Chikankari?

Let us learn and understand the intricacies of Chikankari and how it has evolved over the years yet remained a hot favourite in the textile industry. Also, check out how to style kurti and other chikankari designs. 


Chikankari has its roots in Mughal and Persian influences, with the art of embroidery being brought to India during the Mughal era. The name "Chikankari" is derived from the Persian word "Chikan," which essentially means embroidery and “Kari” means “work”. Over the years, it has developed into an art form and has become an essential part of Indian lifestyle and fashion.


Chikankari Embroidery is a hand-stitched embroidery technique that is very intricate and delicate. The techniques used in Chikankari are very disciplined and meticulous.

Here are a few different techniques used in Chikankari embroidery. 

Tepchi (Taipchi)


Source: utsavpedia 

Tepchi, also known as long-running, or darning, is one of the basic stitches used in the embroidery of Chikankari. It is done with six threads on the right-hand side, taken over by four threads and picked up by one. It is mainly used as a base for other stitches and sometimes to make a basic shape. Tepchi is a versatile stitch and can be used as the basis for more intricate embroidery designs.



Source: D’source

Also referred to as double back or shadow stitch, this unique stitch technique is one of the unique stitches in chikankari embroidery. Bakhiya is done from the wrong side of the fabric. The design is drawn in herringbone style. The shade of the thread can be seen through the fabric on the right side. This gives a subtle, subtle look to the embroidered piece. The use of bakhiya is one of the most important aspects of chikankari’s craftsmanship. It requires a lot of precision, practice, and patience to get the perfect shadow effect.



Source: Ada Designer

Phanda is a French knot embroidered in the centre of the flower patterns of the design. Phanda is a millet-shaped embroidery and its counterpart is murri, which is rice-shaped. Both Phanda and Murri stitches are used in simple Chikankari works motifs. Phanda stitches are used to create intricate details in the embroidery. They are used to form the core of flowers or other design elements in Chikankari. Phanda stitches and murri stitches show a level of complexity and attention to detail.


Chikankari was traditionally embroidered on white fabrics such as cotton, muslin and silk using a white thread. However, modern designs have broadened the color range and now chikankari can be seen on a variety of fabrics and threads. Lightweight fabric such as chiffon, mulmul, rayon, georgette and crepe are the most popular fabrics for chikankari embroidery. 

How To Style Chikankari?

There are numerous ways to include the beauty of Chikankari in your wardrobe, from stunning Kurtas to gorgeous sarees, chic dresses, flowy dupattas, comfortable chikankari shirts and trendy bottomwear. The fabric here takes the centre stage and is embroidered to perfection using Chikankari techniques. Here are some chikankari kurti styling ideas to grace your every look.

Create a Chic Casual Look With Chikankari Kurti and Afghani Pants


Want to know how to style kurti? Pair your chikankari kurti with matching Afghani Pants for a stylish and comfortable look. Choose a kurti with a relaxed fit and wide sleeves to create an effortless, breezy silhouette. Accessorise with statement jewellery, such as chandbali earrings or a layered necklace, to add a touch of elegance. Check out this Chanderi Chikankari Solid Women's 2PC Long Kurta Set with Afghani Pants that exudes style and elegance.  

Rock The Festive Party In A Chikankari Gharara Paired With Short Kurti


Embrace your inner diva by pairing a chikankari gharara with a short kurti for a festive party. The gharara's flared silhouette and the kurti's short length makes it a flattering and stylish ensemble. Accessorise with bold jewellery, such as a chaandbali’s and cocktail rings, to elevate the look.

Look Like A Traditional Diva in a Chikankari Dupatta On Festive Occasions

For festive occasions, drape a chikankari dupatta like Chiffon Embroidered Solid Women's Dupatta - White over a plain kurta or Anarkali suit. The delicate embroidery adds a touch of elegance to the outfit. Pair it with traditional jewellery like jhumkas and bangles to complete the look. 



Mellow Poise In White Chikankari Kurti Paired With Straight Palazzo

A white chikankari kurti paired with straight palazzo exudes a sense of sophistication and elegance. The monochrome palette allows the intricate floral chikankari embroidery to take centre stage. Accessorise with minimal jewellery, such as stud earrings or long jhumkas and a delicate necklace, to maintain a clean, polished look.  


Things To Keep In Mind While Buying A Chikankari Kurti

Keep these tips in mind when buying a chikankari kurti to ensure you get the best suitable design and fit according to your preferences. 

Look for well-defined and evenly spaced embroidery patterns: Find well-defined and well-spaced embroidery patterns. Make sure your embroidery is clean, uniform, and symmetrical. Your embroidery reflects the quality and craftsmanship of your garment.

Choose a fabric that suits the occasion and your comfort level: Select a fabric that is appropriate for the event and aligns with your personal style and comfort preferences.

Ensure the fit is flattering and comfortable: Try on the kurti to ensure it fits well, flatters your body shape, and allows for ease of movement.

Consider the quality of the embroidery and the fabric: Inspect the embroidery for any loose threads or uneven stitches, and check the fabric for its durability and softness.

End of Line 

When considering purchasing a Chikankari kurti, it is essential to focus on well-defined embroidery patterns, suitable fabric choices, flattering fits, and the quality of both the embroidery and fabric. By paying attention to these factors, you can make an informed decision and select a Chikankari kurti that looks stunning and feels comfortable and aligns with your personal style.

Check out House of Chikankari’s exquisite collection of Chikankari kurta sets for the lovely you. Our timeless pieces of Chikankari clothing define comfort and elegance, showcasing meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Our kurtis are made from high-quality fabrics like mulmul and rayon, ensuring a luxurious feel and comfort with the kurtis fitting true to size. 

FAQs- Beginner's Guide to Style Chikankari

1. How to style white chikan kurti?

White chikankari kurtis are a classic choice that can be styled in various ways. Pair them with blue jeans for a casual look, or opt for palazzo pants or straight pants for a more formal vibe. Accessorise with statement jewellery and a dupatta for added elegance. 

2. What should I wear with a chikankari kurti?

Looking for a way to style a chikankari kurti with jeans? You can wear any bottom wear to pair with your chikankari kurti. You can also wear a saree to go for a unique look. Other traditional bottom wear like leggings, palazzos, straight pants etc are also great options. 

3. How can I look attractive in a kurti?

The best way to style kurtis is to wear them in a flattering way. Make sure your kurti is fitted in a way that shows off your curves. You can add a bit of glamour to your look by wearing a statement piece of jewellery. For example, you can wear kurtis with chanda earrings or layered kurti necklaces. You can also wear them with matching bottoms and shoes to complete the look.