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  • Place of origin:

    Lucknow (made)

  • Date:

    late 19th century - early 20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton muslin, woven, embroidered with cotton and muga silk thread and tussar silk

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

White cotton embroidery on white cotton fabric, known as 'chikan' embroidery, is particularly associated with Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India. although it probably originated in Calcutta and Dhaka. Instead of coloured yarns, it uses a variety of textured stitches to provide interest, often combined with pulled-thread or 'jali' work to make open-work patterns. Lucknow chikan work also sometimes adds muga silk, in its natural pale brown colour, to add variety to the design, as in this example.
This sample of embroidery is in the form of two exquisitiely worked borders or cuffs, which would be cut and stitched on to a garment. Chikan work is still very popular for lightweight shirts (kurtas) and was also widely used in the 19th century as western dress material.

Physical description

Textile sample of Chikan embroidery of fine white muslin with two panels of embroidery intended to form cuffs or borders for a garment. Embroidered muslin with cotton and white muga silk thread. Some outlining in tussar silk.

Place of Origin

Lucknow (made)


late 19th century - early 20th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton muslin, woven, embroidered with cotton and muga silk thread and tussar silk


Height: 40.1 cm, Width: 33 cm, Height: 16 in, Width: 13 in, Length: 37 cm, Width: 42 cm

Historical context note

Intended for use in making garments, parts of clothing.

Descriptive line

Chikan embroidered textile (two border pieces), muslin, embroidered, Lucknow, late 19th or early 20th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p.59, cat. no. 48
Indian embroidery / Rosemary Crill ; photography by Richard Davis. London: V&A Publications, 1999 Number: 185177310X, 1851772944 (pbk.)


Muslin; Cotton; Cotton; Silk; Silk


Woven; Embroidered

Subjects depicted

Plants; Buta


Textiles; Embroidery; Clothing; Parasol Foundation Trust Indian Textiles Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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