Phulkari...making of the flower

Monday, January 07, 2013

Phulkari is an ancient and distinguished tradition of Punjab, which its people have and are still trying to maintain.“PHUL” simply means “flower “and “KARI” means work, translated from the Punjabi language. It's a very complex needle work done with bright colored threads.
Phulkari’s present form goes as far back as 15th century, during Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Reign. It is a very important piece of Punjabi tradition, as a part of a bride’s trousseau, as a headdress for a newborn baby's mother and also as part of a woman’s last rites.
In the past a Phulkari was never bought or sold but a family elder always made it for the young girls in the house. The base of a Phulkari is Khaddar, a plain cotton fabric, whose thread was manually spun, loomed and dyed with natural colors. The patterns on the Phulkari reflect the stories of the womens’ lives that make them. It’s a tradition that is handed down from a mother to her daughter.
Phulkari’s are of different kinds. BAGH, which literally means “garden of flowers”, has very dense, intricate work done on the entire piece of fabric and is usually considered an exquisite status symbol. The other is, CHOPE, which has embroidered borders and is generally made with one color only. The motifs are inspired by the day-to-day lives of the women. The shapes of the motifs vary from vegetables to flowers and even animals. The size of the stitch defines the quality of the Phulkari. The smaller the stitch, the finer the piece.
These days, for faster and cheaper production, the textile industry is imitating this art with the help of machines. Phulkari is not as detailed or exquisite as it used to be. Khaddar is many times replaced by cotton, chiffon, georgette etc.
The modern form of Phulkari has travelled far and wide…its not just limited to dupaatas and shawls anymore. You can find this art on saris, bed covers, home furnishings and even accessories like juttis (punjabi shoes), bags etc. Many internationally renowned fashion designers are incorporating this beautiful art form into their latest creations.
The humble Phulkari has come a long way from the tender and loving hands of grandmothers to the immaculate international designer boutiques and said hello to the world.

You can get the sources of all these images from my Indiaah! Pinterest Board and many more like these! 





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