You must have been very familiar with the word Phulkari. Phulkari shawls, dupattas are very much seen everywhere. The word Phulkari is itself means work of floral craft. Its an embroidery technique from the Punjab Region. It was previously used as a word for embroidery, however was later used for embroidered shawals and head scarfs.
The Phulkari work is done with white or yellow silk floss on cotton Khaddarh and starts from the centre on the fabric called “chashm-e-bulbul” and progresses to the whole fabric. Some of the best Phulkaris are known to have made in Hazara and Chakwal areas of Northern Punjab in Pakistan. This embroidery has been popular since the 15th century.
The main characteristics of Phulkari embroidery are use of darn stitch on the wrong side of coarse cotton cloth with coloured silken thread. The base khaddar cloth used in Western Punjab is finer from those of Central Punjab. In West Punjab, 2 or 3 pieces of cloth are first folded and joined together. In East Punjab, they are joined together first and then embroidered.
Phulkaris are preferred during marriages hence, colours like red and its shades are used. No religious subject or dabar scenes were embroidered. Phulkari encompassed life in the villages. Creative ability of Punjabi women has produced innumerable and intricate geometrical patterns. However, most motifs were taken from everyday life. wheat and barley stalk with ears are a common motif.