Our studio is an extension of our love for Lucknow. It is a place where our ideas, dreams and designs come alive. Located in a peaceful bylane of Pune, the Studio, brings alive memories of Awadh and an era gone by.
Drop by for a cup of chai, good music and a relaxed conversation, which inspires you to hang on for long, while you go through our wide ranging assortment of hand crafted products and collections. We promise, there is something unique for everyone!
Pakeeza strives to slow down, appreciate, revive and capture the true essence of Lucknowi elegance, through the subtle yet exquisite workmanship of the timeless art form of Chikankari.
We work closely with our karagirs who consciously and responsibly, create sheer beauty out of a piece of cloth.
When you buy from us, you not only buy authentic, hand embroidered apparel, you also become a part of a conscious and compassionate endeavour of ours. That is, of creating a tradition of respecting and embracing every little imperfection that the hand creates. Dexterous hands painstakingly craft each weave, the process of fabrication is truly a labor of love, during which some apparels may get a minor spot or two.
You may appreciate that, as this is an unavoidable part of the process. As the name Pakeeza suggests, we hold the essence of purity close to our heart and it shows in the spirit of every creation of ours.
Bliss and blessing,
I sought and I searched midst grey's embrace,
I remain untouched Eternal temptress,
the time with its lure And lo, hither I discover my soul so pure.
I Am Pure
Once upon a time, during the times of Mughal Era, a karigar picked up a needle and went on to stitch the hum in his heart. From that time up until now, Chikankari embroidery has thirty six different stitching techniques that in today's times are often combined with embellishments of pearls, mirror, katdana, aari work and mukaish. The name 'Chikan' has been derived from the Persian word 'Chikan' or 'Chikeen', meaning a kind of cloth wrought with needle work.
Known as the most ancient decoration style,nearly two hundred years old, Chikankari traces its origins as a court craft during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir and was introduced by his wife Noor Jahan. It later enjoyed the patronage of the Nawabs of Awadh (Lucknow).
Handmade Chikankari apparels are so much different than the machine-made clones of theirs. They aren’t made in a day, the making of one apparel takes several days, sometimes weeks or months. Handmade embroidery allows for a variety of stitches, thread and fabric. Every work is an art piece; special in its own way. Even if an apparel is duplicated with the same pattern, it is the needle artist’s discretion that makes each piece a unique work of art. It’s what makes hand embroidered clothing so sought after.
'Chikan Sazi' is the exquisite needle work of fine and delicate floral patterns stitched using untwisted cotton and silk threads. The patterns are mostly inspired by Mughal architecture and the cloth used can be cotton, muslin, chiffon, georgette, organza, chanderi, etc.
We believe that handmade embroidery possesses a certain dimension and depth to it that is lacking in the machine-made work. A hand-embroidered piece tells a story with each stitch that is created. It is a labor of love for that particular embroiderer, a slow process that involves many hours of work, which is so valuable because of the craftsmanship. “The reason why many fashion retrospectives draw thousands of footfalls, or why textile collections of museums are so remarkable is because needlework, especially when rendered by hand, is considered timeless,” notes Bollywood stylist Anisha Pillai.
Machine embroidery is very uniform and each piece, if multiple items are stitched, are all identical and hence, loses its collective value.
A hand embroidered apparel is energised by the hands of makers. These keepsakes definitely cost more than a machine-made piece owing to the hard work that goes in making it, but the quality of work, quality of thread used and the quality of material surpasses the machine-made pieces by far.
The authenticity makes you pay, but it makes your every spent rupee worth it. For us each piece is unique and close to our heart. We focus on wearable, hand embroidered clothes that are comfortable and chic. Lucknow's chikankari embroidery is not mere needlecraft but a glowing example of how peace and prosperity thrives when citizens are encouraged to creatively engage with each other. The embroidery no matter how exquisite is only one aspect of the story, and incomplete by itself.