Saturday, July 26, 2014

Indian Crafts: Phulkari Embroidery of Punjab

Phulkari embroidery is one of the most beautiful creations of Punjab. The riot of colors in these dupattas and sarees mesmerizes one and all. There are multiple theories about the origins of this embroidery form. The origin of this beautiful art can be traced back to the 15th century AD. Some people say that this phulkari was made in the famous love story of Heer-Ranjha written by Waris Shah (1725 -1790), Heer has many costume including phulkari articles too.From this it is quite obvious that, these article have been customarily presented to the girl during her wedding. The other theory about its creation has been that craft migrated from persian art, where an embroidery from 'Gulkari' having similar literal meaning, 'gul' means flower and 'kari'means work, which did resemble phulkari
The embroidery is done for the most part upon coarse cotton cloth (khaddar) locally woven from loosely homespun yarns of irregular thickness, generally with between 10-12 warp threads/cm
For baghs, ground fabrics of better quality are woven, called chaunsa khaddar (ca.15-18 threads/cm); here warp and weft have the same thickness and the material is more supple than standard khaddar. Phulkari is also done on georgette sarees now'a'days
The principal stitch used for this work was the darning stitch. Indeed, the almost exclusive use of the long and short darning stitch over counted threads distinguishes phulkari and bagh from all other known Indian textiles with embroidered decoration. Normally the darning stitch moves in straight lines; in a skilled example, however, the stitch work can be more dynamic. The pattern is controlled mainly by counting threads; in west Punjab the pattern on the cloth is planned out with green yarn in parallel lines or squares worked in double running stitch
Phulkari manifests itself in multiple forms. One of the most famous forms is the heavy bridal bagh dupattas gifted to brides and work during marriages.
The otherit type of phulkari duppata is the light chanderi phulkari dupatta which is more suitable for wearing on a day to day basis. These are colorful yet light to be work on a day to day basis
Phulkari is also said to be prevalent in parts of pakistan, which is different from indian punjabi phulkari in terms of the stiches and motifs being used. Some of the gorgeous designs are available at
In the modern world Phulkari kurtas have been made for day to day wear. To ensure quick manufacturing embroidering using machines have come into existence. Visit to see sample designs of phulkari kurtas
This heritage is one of India's most beautiful ones and needs to be preserved. Large number of artisans in and around Patiala are involved in this craft. Awareness about this craft form will help in preserving it

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