A spread fabric like a saree or a sufficiently large expanse as provided in a salwar kameez offers plenty of scope for imaginative beautification. And that is precisely what the traditional art of Phulkari or floral embroidery on fabric is all about. Having its roots in rural Punjab, this arty craft practiced by women on the traditional Punjabi outfit the salwar kameez, and other clothing like shawls, odhnis, dupattas etc., is a feast for the eyes.
A new range of Phulkari adorned salwar kameez on soft Tussar silk
Just about a month ago Unnati Silks had brought out a range of Phulkari on soft Jaipuri cotton salwar kameez. This time round it is the same arty embroidery of rural Punjab adorning the swishy and shiny Tussar Silk Salwar Kameez. Earlier the flowery ‘magic’ was displayed on smooth cotton weaves. Here it is displayed on lovely silk fabric.
Let us explore the features of this new range of Tussar silk salwar kameez decorated with Phulkari.
- These are bright shades of light colors, where the kameez takes on the light hues of pink, red, blue, while the salwar its dark contrast, the dupatta being dual colored, taking the colors of the kameez and salwar.
- The Kameez features the artistic Phulkari all across its expanse in the front. The flowery scapes that are presented do not randomly spread out but are bunched and distributed like several vases of flowers each with its differently arranged boquet. This gives a neatness that is most alluring. The colors of the threads used in the embroidery beautifully combine to enhance the picture. There is no garishness but instead like a painting a flowery portrait of allure and elegance is displayed in vivid colors.
- The salwar is plain to give all the attention to the kameez, the dupatta just adding to the nice presentation with its complementing dual color that are of the salwar and kameez. It is lightly dotted with motifs in Phulkari.
- Adding to the portrait of the salwar kameez is the nicely decorated neck with Phulkari floral arrangement
- The unstitched fabrics that could be customized to order bear the labels of Handloom Mark and Silk Mark.
A brief narrative on the Phulkari
From the word phul meaning flower and kari meaning the craft, Phulkari stands for floral work or floral craft. Phulkari being a decorative art, it is widely displayed in Punjabi clothing like the Salwar Kameez, scarves, shawls, stoles, dupattas and such women clothing.
Phulkari, the flowery pattern silk embroidery that is uniquely appealing for its floral arrangements on fabric exclusively adorns the wedding and festival salwar kameez of Punjabi women. The beauty of the art lies in that the costly floss silk called Pat was once used where the patterns were never drawn beforehand, but the thread count was always accurate. The densely packed floral design and other themes of everyday life hand embroidered by the womenfolk who engage in it, used to sometimes takes upto a year to complete.
Today Phulkari is not restricted to a particular type of fabric. Colours that were generally white, red, black and blue have given way to include others in the color spectrum as well. Darning is the most commonly used technique to make the pattern. The width of a stitch would determine the quality of the Phulkari – narrower the stitch finer the work. For more complicated or unusual designs or for the borders, the herringbone stitch, the running stitch, Holbein stitch or buttonhole stitch are used.
Interesting Info about the art
- Phulkaris and the excessively floral Bagh art surfaces more on women’s clothing all over Punjab during marriage festivals and other joyous occasions. Earlier it was only for domestic use and not for sale in the market. Though a domestic art over time it brought in a lot of creativity as well since custom had grown, to give Phulkaris and Baghs to brides at the time of marriages.
- Phulkari embroidery has been popular since the 15th century practiced by rural women for their own family members. Phulkari themes centred round objects found in daily life and centred around village themes.
- Once an unorganized sector largely, the market response created an awakening in society and different sections of society from Govt. to individuals and NGOs got involved in promoting this wonderful art.
- The fashion world has also found it extremely rapturous and charming to include it in its offerings.
This arty craft is very much acknowledged and appreciated for its worth as a decorative art and adorning feature in fabrics that enhance appeal tremendously. And while the applause continues, Unnati Silks shall definitely create opportunities for the Phulkari to have its due place in the sun in its own small way.