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EMBROIDERIES OF INDIA / PHULKARI WORK / CURRENT STATUS
PHULKARI WORK
Current Status of Phulkari

- The colours of the Khaddar are generally white, red, black and blue. 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.

- The colour of the Paat is generally gold and silvery white symbolizing the harvest and wild flowers.

- Weddings and traditional festivals are the two occasions when considerations in the use of Paat are pushed aside and the silk Paat finds its way to its customary place to make the fabrics on display stun onlookers with the resplendent finery.

- Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) acquired a collection of selected phulkari for its archives in 1994.

- Some modern fashion designers are incorporating this embroidery into their garments, and its use has spread beyond salwar kameez and dupatta to objects and garments as varied, as jackets, bags, cushion covers, table-mats, shoes, slipper, juttis, and kids garments.

- In 2011, after a five-year long legal case, Phulkari was awarded the geographical indication (GI) status in India, which means that after that only registered traders and manufacturers, from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan states, would be able to use the term for the traditional craft, and the patent information centre (PIC) of Punjab State Council for Science and Technology would issue a logo or hologram to distinguish the product.

- It was never made for commercialization. Fabricated for familial customary obligations, Phulkari became famous mainly by word of mouth. For the people of Punjab, Phulkari is not just a style of embroidery. For them it is a traditional family culture, a pious ceremony that begins with the birth of the male child.

- The grandmother of the baby boy weaves a fabric of love, spinning dreams of his wedded future with a beautiful bride to whom the Phulkari will belong eventually.

- There is little common between how Phulkari work was done in the past and how it is done now. Having completed the household chores, women of the conventional Punjab got together for friendly gossip and long hours of undisturbed weaving.

- On a coarse cloth of homespun khaddar the ladies embroider vivid patterns from the darn stitch. They took cue from anything around them, be it the scenic beauty of their homeland, the natural surroundings or a lively dialogue between a mother and child.

- The dyeing pigment used at that time, however, was not colour-fast, a problem for which the modern times held a solution.

- Modern Phulkari is a more serious business. From a leisure activity it has progressed to become one of the major sources of employment for the women in Punjab.