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Chikankari V/S Applique

            Hi we talked little bit on chikankari embroidery in my earlier post " Introduction on chikankari".
As mentioned chikankari is not just herringbone stitch done from backside of fabric, apart from having around 30 unique stitches in chikan, it also has badla/mukaish work, jali work, kamdani, applique work.

            In some of lucknowi embroidery you can also find crochet edging to enhance its beauty. Authentic chikankari during Mughal period had calligraphy done using applique work.

Chikankari with applique work

                    This above picture really does not justify the work beauty. This chikankari embroidered salwar suit , i bought it long back to know more about its applique work, jali work, stitches in chikankari. Observe above picture, outside of each motif applique work is done, with same base fabric. The entire suit is done in this similar way.

Crochet edging

                   As you can see in above picture, small length of crochet edging has been done. Crochet edging may be done at the bottom side of salwar, towards the ending of sleeves, around waistline etc.

            In this post lets try very common but highly skilled applique work in chikankari.

Circled stencil

                   Now a days we get various types of stencil in market, try to get above one or you can even use compass.

Applique pattern

                 With the help of stencil or compass, above pattern has to be drawn.  First draw circles as shown in below picture and also mark four equal points as shown in the picture.


                   Observing below picture, try to match four point and draw one more circle

Applique pattern

                 Below is the finished pattern. In each circle , i have marked diagonal lines. These line has to be cut.

Applique pattern

                         Transfer the pattern on the fabric. To do this pattern, you need two layers of same fabric. For first time trial, do on cotton fabric with big circles.

Applique pattern

                      Now cut diagonal lines as shown in pattern.

Applique pattern

                  After cutting diagonal lines, you need to cut further, perpendicular to diagonal line, as shown in below picture. This is done to avoid wrinkles and helps to get accurate shape.

Applique pattern

                     Fold back each cut shape and hem it to base layer. This is the reason , i said we need two layers of fabric. Well this is very skilled work, by the end of this pattern, one can learn his/her own technique to do this properly.

Applique pattern

Applique work in chikankari

                       Have a look at finished applique work. In each circle you can see a diamond shape area, this area can be embroidered and it has to be done before you do applique work. You can do embroidery soon after transferring the pattern on fabric, once embroidery is done, then start with applique work.  So here i have just done keel stitch.

            Application of this applique pattern, how to use this pattern? In above picture you saw i used only four circles and did this pattern, so this can be used as a panel on cushion cover instead of doing whole front side of cushion. To do the same pattern on salwar, there are many ways like, only till waistline this pattern can be done, or if salwar is stitched in princesses cut style, this pattern can be done in center panel. Or only sleeves can be done leaving whole body part of salwar plain. It can also be done on whole blouse. For all these only thing you need is, have loads and loads of patience. Try it , you will love it !!!!!


  1. Nice and informative post. I am very much interested in chikan embroidery and have done some small projects. U can visit my page here

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I was looking for this tutorial since long time..Thank you so much for sharing it :)

    1. Thank u Manasa, hope it helped u !!!

  4. Hi i have an old suit with makesh on how can i revive it to its original shine

    1. Hello Tariq,

      You can try white tooth power, take little bit of tooth powder in a ear bud, gently rub over mukaish, later rub with mulmul. This will bring back a little bit of shine. Later while storing wrap your suit with thin paper (not news paper ) and store so that moisture be absorbed by paper. Hope this helps you.


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