In 1528, the Mughal Sultanate conquered and formally incorporated Awadh as one of its constituent provinces. In due course, with the decline of Mughal power, the Nawab-Wazirs of Awadh began to assert their independence. After the East India Company appropriated half of Awadh as indemnity, the then Nawab, Asaf -ud Daula, moved his capital to the city of Lucknow in 1775. This move resulted in the blossoming of the city and its distinctive culture - known as Lucknowi (or Lakhnavi) tehzeeb.
Even today, we hear legendary tales of the life and beauty of this plush, vibrant city that was known for its sprawling gardens, enticing orchards and magnificent palaces. The rich and flamboyant 'Pehle Aap' culture, the havelis and their once-grandiose occupants, the city’s chequered history of distinct Awadhi cuisine, the delicate artistry of chikankari, the legendary courtesans and the defiant voice of the rekhti – it’s time to rediscover the magic of Lucknow!
The name 'Chikan' has been derived from the Persian word 'Chikan' or 'Chikeen', meaning a kind of cloth wrought with needle work. Dexterous hands painstakingly craft each weave. For us each piece is unique and close to our heart.
We focus on wearable, bespoke clothes that are comfortable and chic.
Anahita-house of chikankari is a homegrown label and its entire manufacturing process, whether it's procuring the material or the hand embroidery, is done locally by women artisans in Lucknow. We offer chikankari products with a modern twist and we work towards promoting the same.
MEET THE FOUNDER
Hello, i am Preeti Singh, the founder of Anahita-house of Chikankari. I was raised in the city of nawabs, Lucknow ,which is the hub of chikankari industry in india and world wide known for its rich cultural heritage. Lucknow is a city of vision, a wonder, a tale told through its miraculous monuments, delectable food, and mesmerising crafts; Lucknow is a city royal enough to marvel at! Birthed in the Mughal era, chikankari has been at the core of Lucknow’s rich, regal heritage. Chikankari is a unique, beautiful craft involving delicate artistic embroidery work on an array of textured cloths. Creating countless ensembles with intricate work encompassed within 36 magical stitches, the craft is truly one of a kind.
Our aim is make India's oldest and richest craft accessible to the customers and provide them with the quality products. The artisans associated with ANAHITA are experts and extremely knowledgeable and experienced . Our artisans have plethora of experience in chikankari embroidery work .Our journey is all about to bring 400 years old craft of chikankari embroidery in front of you , restored to its former glory in the city of nawabs.
Our vision is to make put chikankari on a Global Platform through fashion to suit the needs of the contemporary consumer and to give Chikankari; the unsung hero its own place in the fashion community, whilst celebrating the artisans bringing the craft to life. . Our vision is to revive the ancient art with new innovation and rejuvenate the treasured craft of chikankari as well as we are working in the direction to improve the lifestyle of the artisans who are not getting their due credit for their talent and hardwork.We aspire to bring about changes in the lives of all our artisans by providing them a platform to showcase their art.Anahita aspires to bring recognition for the craft and its workers on a large scale. With a deeply engraved passion for the art, our purpose lies in giving the rightful artists- the Chikankari artisans their dues.
Known as the most ancient decoration style,nearly two hundred years old, Chikankari traces it's origins as a court craft during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir and was introduced by his wife Noor Jahan. It later enjoyed the patronage of the Nawabs of Awadh (Lucknow).
Handmade Chikankari apparels are so much different than the machine-made clones of theirs. They aren’t made in a day, the making of one apparel takes several days, sometimes weeks or months. Handmade embroidery allows for a variety of stitches, thread and fabric. Every work is an art-piece; unique in its own way. Even if an apparel is duplicated with the same pattern, it is the needle artist’s discretion that makes each piece a one of a kind work of art. It’s what makes hand embroidered clothing so sought after.
'Chikan Sazi' is the exquisite needle work of fine and delicate floral patterns stitched using untwisted cotton and silk threads. The patterns are mostly inspired by Mughal architecture and the cloth used can be cotton, muslin, chiffon, georgette, organza, chanderi, etc.
We believe that handmade embroidery possesses a certain dimension and depth to it that is lacked by the machine-made work. A hand-embroidered piece tells a story with each stitch that is created. It is a labor of love of that particular embroiderer, a slow process that involves many hours of work, which is so valuable because of the craftsmanship. “The reason why many fashion retrospectives draw thousands of footfalls, or why textile collections of museums are so remarkable is because needlework, especially when rendered by hand, is considered timeless,” notes Bollywood stylist Anisha Pillai.
Machine embroidery is very uniform and each piece, if multiple items are stitched, are all identical and hence, loses its collective value.
A handmade embroidered apparel is a keepsake. It definitely costs more than a machine-made piece owing to the hard work that goes in making it, but the quality of work, quality of thread used and the quality of material surpasses the machine-made pieces by far. The authentic makes you pay, but it makes your every spent rupee worth it. For us each piece is unique and close to our heart. We focus on wearable, bespoke clothes that are comfortable and chic.
Anahita strives to revive this Lucknowi elegance of exquisite workmanship, a timeless art form and works closely with various karagirs that create sheer beauty out of a piece of cloth and make it possible for us to bring you the intricate art at your doorstep. We urge you to buy the authentic. Dexterous hands painstakingly craft each weave, the process of fabrication is truly a labor of love, during which some apparels may get a minor spot or two. You may appreciate that, as this is an unavoidable part of the process.