Threads of Lucknow
Lucknow has been a center of great embroideries, that have survived the strong winds of change to flourish even today. Chikan for example, is an art that provides livelihood to so many women in and around Lucknow, empowers them to be a part of the thriving local economy, supplements their household income and above all keeps the traditional craft alive. Men on another hand, contribute their finesse to other forms of embroidery, Zari and Aari in particular. These are mostly done at the small studios within the homes of designers, on big wooden frames with many men working together on a single piece to churn out an exquisite example of craft.
Another high-point is that this embroidery has bound the two diverse communities of Hindus and Muslims together in Lucknow, where both live in utmost peace and harmony. This is a result of a delicate economic relationship shared by them. Hindu trading community, referred to as Rastogis, sell the embroidered craft, while Muslims are involved as craftsmen.
How awesome it is to learn about this craft from the men and women at a designer’s studio on a half-day hands-on experiential sojourn. Each guest gets a personal embroidery kit to learn the craft, a talk is delivered by a designer and guests are taught this intricate embroidery.