Chikankari appeared in Lucknow in the late 18th century and its exquisite aesthetic and craftsmanship has sustained the tradition to this day, through changing patronage and market trends. Chikankari is not just embroidery. The style is based on a creative blend of delicate embroidery, and impeccable dressmaking and sewing techniques; these components come together to create art that is legendary for its elegance and finesse. This beautifully illustrated book showcases unknown gems from personal and public collections, and brings to life the history of this unique craft tradition. Various chapters describe the mysterious origins of the craft, the range of costumes, the inspirations behind common Chikankari motifs, the time-honored elaborate production process, and the bewildering array of stitches that raised this craft to its status as a truly exceptional art form.