EMBROIDERIES OF INDIA / PHULKARI WORK / VARIETIES
1. Thirma: The paat was generally chosen in a range of bright pink to deep red tones. But as symbol of purity, worn by elder women & widows at times. The choice of white is made for aesthetic reasons. It is Phulkari from the north of Punjab, shared by Hindu and Sikh traditions and very appreciated by collectors and is identified by its white khaddar called thirma; a symbol of purity. Cluster stitched flowers, wide triangles covering the forehead as well as chevron darning stitch surfaces are very common thirma patterns.
2. Darshan Dwar: Darshan Dwar, that can be translated as "the gate through which God can be seen", unlike other phulkari was not made for a person but for a temple as an offering to thank the gods after a wish had been fulfilled. For this reason, while a dowry could contain dozens of phulkari, darshan dwar has never been made in big quantities.
3. Bawan Bagh: Mosaic of fifty ¬two different patterns which decorate the piece and is the rarest of all.
4. Vari¬da¬Bagh: Made on an orange reddish khaddar with the main pattern being a group of three¬ four small concentric lozenges (diamond) of growing size.
5. Chope: Embroidered with one color, usually on the borders.
6. Surajmukhi: Sunflower refers to the main pattern of this Phulkari.
7. Kaudi Bagh: Chains of small white squares representing stylized cowries.
8. Panchranga: Decorated with chevrons of five different colours.
9. Satranga: Decorated with chevrons of seven different colours.
10. Meenakari: Made of gold and white coloured pat, is decorated with small multicoloured lozenges referring to enamel work (meenakari)
11. Sainchi phulkari - Made in east Punjab, a mostly non-Islamic area which allowed the development of this type of Phulkari. Typically themes with figurative pieces narrating the life in the villages of south east Punjab, local animals (goats, cows, elephants, big cats, scorpions, peacocks,...) are represented moving among wrestlers, farmers, weavers, etc. Train is also often displayed on sainchi phulkari, this means of transportation, brought by the British in the second half of the19th century, having had a big impact on local populations' life.
12. Beyond their aesthetic value, sainchi phulkari can be compared to our nowadays media as they depict the ways of life, interests and environment of the old time rural people of Punjab. In addition, they were produced in a relatively small area (Firozpur and Bhatinda districts) and required high embroidery skills. These are all the reasons why they became so appreciated by collectors and the market alike.
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