Lucknow Lace

Chikan embroidery from Lucknow Chikan embroidery from Lucknow

There are three forms of lace associated with the northeastern Indian city of Lucknow. The first is a metal form that is really a woven braid, rather than a form of handmade lace using bobbins, hooks or needles, although it is called by some authors, writing in English, ‘Lucknow lace’.

The second form is a form of lace (following the English definition of the word) and may take the form of bobbin (cushion) lace, crochet lace, needle lace, and so forth. This type of lace was brought to India by various groups of Christian nuns and missionaries from the eighteenth century onwards.

The third type of Lucknow ‘lace’ is a form of whitework embroidery using a pulled thread technique, generally known as chikan. It is also sometimes known as ‘Delhi Lace.’ This type of whitework embroidery tends to be angular in form and often incorporates Indian motifs such as buteh, tropical plants and fauna, including elephants.


  • EARNSHAW, Pat (1984). A Dictionary of Lace, Aylesbury: Shire Publications Ltd., p. 48.
  • WATT, George (1903). Indian Art at Delhi 1903: Being the Official Catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition 1902-1903, Calcutta: Government Printing Press, p. 422.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 7 July 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 03 October 2016 18:32
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