Suhani Gurnani, a brand that redefines Awadh's opulence and art, believes that a woman can break free from the shackles of the fickle world with a timeless approach to fashion, that she can be secure in her history and grounded enough in her heritage to embrace tradition in its purest form, and that she can truly empower people around her with her iconic style.
Nur Jahan, also known as Mehr-un-Nissa, was a pivotal figure in Mughal India's history, as the widowed daughter of a Persian noble redefined the empress's position. She went from widow to lady-in-waiting, from Empress Consort Padshah Begum to the "light of the dawn" (Noor Jahan). She was said to be a major arts supporter. Noor Jahan was reputed to be a professional embroiderer. She channelled this love for the arts, skills at embroidery in one culmination that gave birth to chikankari.
Chikankari is a rivaayat that Lucknow has carefully preserved, The word chikan is derived from the Persian words “chikin and chikeen, which mean delicately embroidered silk.
She brought in artisans from a village in Persia's Koh Mehr district as she created intricate Indo-Persian embroidery designs, sometimes influenced by Rajasthan and sometimes by Kashmir, and sometimes mirrored in Mughal architecture. These artists were tasked with passing on their knowledge to Awadh families. Embroidery was done on undyed white shazaada cotton or Dhaka ki mulmul, sourced from the eastern ends of the Mughal Empire. Fabric lengths were mostly used for dupattas at the time. The skills and secrets were passed through generations as the artisan typically women in purdah started to find a daily source of income.