An Article of Traditional Fashion
Hello Dear Friends,
This is my 9th article in my series where I discuss Indian crafts and artist of these should be celebrated. Today I bring yet another craft, which belong to Punjab State of India. It is an important article of the traditional attire.
What is a Phulkari?
A phulkari is a form of embroidery, the word ‘phul’ means flower and ‘kari’ means work. The dominant design has embroidered flowers and the embroidery has been closely tied to Punjabi culture. The most important characteristic of this embroidery is darn stitch with silk thread on the opposite side of the cloth. The embroidery became more popular with fashion statement from popular cinema.
History of Phulkari
Phulkari is an age-old traditional wear that finds mention in Punjabi Folklore. The famous folk story of Heer-Ranjha is set in a background where Phulkari is common sight. The theories for the origin of this art range from folklores to cross-cultural exchanges. One such theory is that of it is derived from Persian art of GulKari that is embroidery with Gul meaning flower. The art is said to be as old as 15th century, references in Waris Shah’s Heer Ranjha goes back to 18th century. Many believe that the art travelled to India with Jat migration from Central Asia.
One of the important features of Phulkari is that it is inspired by lives of women; as was part of their mundane lives.
The work of Phulkari came up a unique vocabulary; the term Bagh is used if embroidery covers the length and breadth of the fabric; the term Adha is used when work is embroidered in a scattered format; Chashm-e-bulbul is generally used to refer to the center of the fabric from where usually embroidery starts.
Various Types of Phulkari
Chope & Subhar:- is a pattern of Phulkari where in Chope both the sides of fabric are embroidered. Chope is typically meant for bride owing to the heavy work. Subhar is a pattern where usually the center is heavily embroidered.
Til Patra:- the seeds of sesame are called til in hindi, so this particular pattern has basically embroidery which appears as if seeds of sesame sprinkled on a fabric.
Neelak:- a pattern which is dominated by black and red background with yellow or bright red embroidery and metals assimilated in Phulkari colors.
Ghunghat Bagh:- as the word Ghunghat is used in Hindi for veil, this is an embroidery at the middle of edges specially made for veil. Rawalpindi is hub this form of Phulkari.
Chamaas:- it has mirrors sewn along with embroidery; hails from Delhi region.
Kudi Bagh:- a pattern of small square chains in form of stylized cowries.
Surajmukhi:- a pattern in which Sunflower is the main embroidered pattern.
This traditional article of design is a good offering of the culture of Punjab. It received geographical indication for its place of origin. Phulkari is popularized by movies like 'phillauri' and 'jab we met'. It is a must have article when one visits Punjab. A wide range of products are available.