10 Nov Phulkari: A remarkable embroidery all the way from Punjab, India
Are you looking for something that will make you look vibrant? Let me introduce ‘Phulkari’, it is known for the use of bright colored threads hand embroidered into simple flowery motifs. The motifs are hand embroidered and are inspired from daily life activities. The use of vibrant colours to display the floral work and bold artwork makes it must have.
The history and origin of this work from rural Punjab, India are not well-known. This work looks like people were embroidering flowers and leaves from the inverse side on the cloth. Some say that this work originated from Iran where it was known as Gulkari (also meaning Flower Work) while some have proof that this can be traced back to 15th century AD. While the origins are debatable, we know that type of work has a great history behind it. The motifs of this art are inspired by daily life like flowers, people, animals etc.
This embroidery is done with glossy silk thread on the various fabrics and can be used for a top, dress, stole or home furnishing. Some of the heavy pieces can be used at art work. This type of heavily embellished fabric is used in luxurious wedding outfits or special occasion attires in India. Since, this is handwork, needless to say, the embroidery is unique and it cannot be produced in bulk. Each piece has it uniqueness and slight imperfections.
There are some internal varieties in this type of embroidery as well. Some designs are small and neat like sesame seeds, some designs are mainly done on black and red background known as Neelak. While, there are a few styles which include various stonework or mirror work. It is amazing to see that this small segment of embroidery which is done by women in a small rural area also has a vast variation in the design, colors and motifs. For Punjabi women, this is an art of expressing their culture and lifestyle. This art is so beautiful that people from around the world want to see more of it. This is our attempt to make this rural embroidery from punjab more global. We source our phulkari products from a local NGO in Punjab, India which works to provide the rural women their livelihood.
This is actually a big stole or scarf. This was sourced from NGO in Patiala, Punjab, India who get these made by women in rural area of punjab. This took about 4-5 weeks to complete. As this is hand embroidered, you can see the imperfections and that is the beauty of this design. We handle this is utmost care since the threads get pulled easily.
This is a fabric, the complete fabric is covered with embroidery, we cannot even see the fabric. This would make perfect wall art or a top or a dress. Drape this around a door or window to make it look more vibrant.
We are in the process of getting more items in this type of work but each product takes time to make and finally get to the market.