The traditional fabric used in Chikankari embroidery is muslin or cotton. Muslin is a lightweight, sheer, and soft fabric that drapes well and is easy to work with. Cotton is also a lightweight and breathable fabric that is comfortable to wear and easy to care for. These fabrics are ideal for Chikankari embroidery because they can be easily printed and embroidered upon and are comfortable to wear.
The fabric for chikankari embroidery is usually pre-washed and treated to give it a softer feel and to remove any starch or sizing. The fabric is then printed with the design that will be embroidered, using a wooden block-printing technique. The embroidery is done with a thin, white cotton thread, and it can take weeks or even months to complete a single garment.
Due to its delicate nature, chikankari embroidery is typically done on light-colored fabrics, such as white or pastel shades, although some modern designs use other colours as well.
In recent years, chikankari embroidery is also done on other fabrics like silk, georgette, chiffon and even denim to cater to the demand of contemporary fashion.