This is the 'pallu' (portion draped on the shoulder ) of a lavender colored pure Lucknow chikanwork sari. Click on the image for a closer view. Some years back I'd bought this and gifted to my mom. Few weeks backs ,she gave it to me for drywash. I've been trying to decode the stitches used on it since then. I'll show you a few more close ups of the design.
This is the bottom most portion of the pallu -the wavy line is couching and the flowers- well, that's what Iam trying to find out.Will talk about my findings(??) towards the end. Just above the wave is a row of rather big paisleys with a fancy leaf alongside.
Here's a close up of the leaf - doesn't it resemble the pulled thread work ? I think this is called 'Jali work'. Jali means mesh or net.
Above the big paisley, comes a row of small paisleys. If you've noticed, all use the same stitch.Some kind of satin with a twist around it.
The little flowers that are placed above the paisleys are also stitched with the same technique.
The topmost portion again has some wavy lines with leaves to the inside and a diamond shaped block inside. On top of these waves,you can see a lotus shaped flower executed in shadow work. The diamond is repeated throughout the body of the sari.There's still more to the top,but it is a repetition of the images already shown.
After seeing this whole lot, aren't you curious about the stitch used all over repeatedly ? I too was (am). After feeling the embroidery, I've every reason to believe that this is the embossed (raised) style of chikan work. After searching far and wide and getting inputs from some resources and a friend of mine( thanks Mahalakshmi) , I finally tried to stitch a similar flower.
I thought I had succeeded- but when I looked closely - the differences were too obvious and the back of the embroidery in both cases were like heaven and hell :) Anyways, Iam not too disappointed - coz I've learnt a new stitch. This too is part of chikan work and is known by the name Phanda stitch or phanda work. Anyone keen on learning this?
Oops, my post has extended far too much. Will cut short for now.
Love,luck and sunshine,
P.S By the way, Iam no expert on chikan work .All what I've learnt is through the internet.Unfortunately there are no images available for any specific stitch and I've to depend on the written explanations to sort out a method. Iam trying to learn and share whatever I've learnt with you all.If someone disagrees with my interpretation and would like to correct me , please leave a comment or get in touch with me through my mail id on the side bar.