Mukaish Work Sarees are primarily created in Lucknow, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Popular all over Northern Indian, Mukaish work is a kind of embroidery, which resemsbles shiny, metallic specs scattered over the fabric. Thin metallic threads are twisted, and patterns are created, using those miniscule wires, all over the fabric. While the most common pattern created is of dots, other patterns are created too.
Mukaish work is done not only on sarees, but also on salwar kameez, shirts, tunics, and kurtis. It is a dying art but dates back to the Rig Veda, after which it became very popular during the Mughal period. Initially, real silver and gold were used to make the thin metallic threads, but currently, imitation metal threads are used. Craftsman doing Mukaish work have different ways of polishing the threads to make them look brighter.
Making of the Mukaish Work Sarees
Did you know that there are three different steps to making a Mukaish Work Saree? The first step to be carried out is where the patterns which are to be embroidered are printed on the fabric. This is not done in the traditional manner of printing. Instead, an amalgamation of neel (indigo) powder and gum is used to trace the designs.
Secondly, dots are stitched in different sizes and patterns onto the saree. The “hazaar butti” or the thousand dots design is a unique pattern of Lucknow, where flat sequins and rings are used to create dotted patterns. The size of the dots depends on the width of the wire. The smaller and more intricate the design, higher is the price of the saree or material. Mukaish is extremely popular for duppattas as well as saris.
The third and the final step is carried out, when the embroidery work is complete. At this point, the saree is flattened and the work brightened using a glass bottle. It is laid flat on a piece of cloth, and undergoes the process of being rubbed till it shines. Today, sarees and lehengas with both chikan work and mukaish work on the same fabric are available in white, which can then be dyed in the colour of your choice. Chikankari work sarees with mukaish work look ultimate in regal, understated glam!
Initially it was all done by hand; it requires great skill and intense effort. Over the period, number of such skilled and patient craftsmen has dwindled. Plus, these people rarely got the deserved remuneration for their hard work. Thus, Mukaish work sarees have become a rarity, only available in the North Indian belt.
Although, many homes in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh still vouch for this work, and duly include Mukaish work dupattas and saris in wedding trousseaus - the cheaper, machine-made tipka or pasted wires patterns as well as sparkle and glitter work are taking over the sizzle of delicate mukaish work.
Thankfully, several Indian designers and contemporary manufacturers are attempting to revive the dying/ flailing Mukaish work craft. They are carrying out various methods with different textile weaves, creating Mukaish Work Sarees, even without chikankari embroidery. Mukaish work done over a pastel colored plain chiffon or pure crepe/ georgette saree looks splendid – and drapes better than any new age shimmer sari. These pretty drapes are available at special request at Saree.com. You will get authentic as well as new-age Mukaish saris, which are great for their subtle shine.
Mukaish Work Sarees present a glitter and sparkle effect, and hence do not really require any extra embellishment. A simple pair of earrings and a diamond ring, paired with a diamond-setting dainty necklace are enough to create a rich, majestic. You can wear Mukaish Work Sarees to cocktail parties or even wedding receptions. The subtle shine of these lovely drapes is excellent for all ages. They are trendy enough for girls attending farewell parties or college proms.
The general look of beautiful Mukaish Work Sarees is metallic along with a soft glow of its own, and hence, they can be worn with gold or silver studded stilettos. Studded clutches also work very well and offset the rich embroidery. These sarees should be dry cleaned, and not be put through any harsh cleaning process. You can team up these sarees with a simple blouse with a zari border to accentuate the metallic embroidery.