Chik/Window & Door Screens and Blinds of Delhi

Chik/Window & Door Screens and Blinds of Delhi

In the hot and dusty plains of North India, chiks have traditionally been used to keep out the dust and blinding heat of the hot summer months keeping the interiors of homes and workplaces cool. This simultaneously utilitarian and decorative product was used widely during Mughal times as screens and partitions in the zenana/women's quarters. The use of chiks was also wide spread during British times but they were mainly of the rougher variety to be used in verandahs and outer public areas. This traditional craft has its roots in the districts and towns of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. In Delhi the chik makers can be found in Kichripur, Govindpuri and Ashram Chowk.

Chiks are made from bamboo splits or rigid stems of sarkanda grass, held in place by a warp of cotton threads that are finely spaced to create a blinds and screens which can easily be rolled up but not folded or gathered.

Using either Bamboo splits, locally known as tilli or  the lower parts of the wild sarkanda grass stems that are sourced from riversides and swampy regions near Delhi and from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh; doubled cotton yarn are individually wrapped around the rigid sarkanda or bamboo splits. To add strength and give a finish the chiks are edged on all sides with a nivar/woven tape. Most are additionally lined with cotton fabric to make them opaque and reduce the sunlight that filters through. Outdoor bamboo chiks that are usually heavier and more sturdy  are usually lined with  waterproof backing.

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