The name Chikan has been derived from the Persian word Chakin or Chikeen meaning a cloth wrought with needlework. The technique of creation of a chikan work is known as Chikankari.
Chikankari was basically invented in Lucknow and it developed quickly during the period when the Mughals ruled and consisted of styles inspired by Persians. Chikankari is a delicate and artfully done hand embroidery on a variety of textile fabric like Muslin, silk, chiffon, organza, net etc.
Chikan began as a type of white-on-white (or whitework) embroidery but nowadays chikan embroidery is also done with coloured and silk threads in different colours.