Punjab is a happening place in India. Various craft forms often synchronize with the popular folk music and produce an enchanting effect. People of Punjab are said to be very hard working and diligent at their vocation. Phulakri is predominantly a handiwork of the female folks of Punjab. The literal meaning of phulkari is flowering. This craft involves the embroidery of the flowering patterns on dupattas, shawls and other garments.
Evolution of the Craft:
Phulkari is done with huge interest and enthusiasm by the women. They started doing it in the backdrop of remaining free at home while their husbands were working away in the fields. It started off in the sixteenth century as amateurish disposition and evolved to a developed craft in 19th century.
How Phulkari is Done:
This craft is done as making artistic small darn stitch over the cloth. These stitches are done in innumerable designs making the cloth immensely beautiful. When the stitches are made all over the body of the cloth, the prepared piece is called "Bagh". The base cloth used for this purpose is home-spun, locally-woven and dyed khadi. The thread used is silk yarn also called Pat, that is imported from the various corners of Kashmir, Bengal, China and Afghanistan.
Colors and Designs:
The popular colors used in making phulkari are golden, yellow, crimson, orange, green, blue and pink. You may get to see plenty of designs in geometrical as well as natural patterns. Among figures, prominently of flowers, leaves, birds, animals and of human are popular. The figures of vegetables, pots, buildings, rivers, sun and moon are also displayed quite often. The baghs carrying dhoop-chhaon (sun-shade) patterns are very popular all over Punjab. Similarly, Dhaniya bagh (coriander), Motia Bagh (jasmine), Satranga Bagh (rainbow), Leheria Bagh (wavy) etc. are also very famous. Most sought after phulkaris are said to be Sainehi Phulkaris that carry the scenes of rural Punjab.
Significance of Phulkaris:
Phulkari craft has played a significant role in defining the popular mood of Punjab. The phulkari designing and the scenes displayed on the clothes has been inspiration for various folk songs and other cultural activities. They show the feelings and emotions of the people. Phulkari done garments are exchanged in the familial ties essentially. It is said that bride when leaves for the house of groom, she is given many sets of Baghs to be worn in the in-law's home. They have some religious significance too. They are used as the canopy over the holy scripture of Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib.
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