Sunday, November 2, 2014

Phulkari – floral art from Punjab

To create is to express. And, expression is the manifestation of human thoughts and emotions which permeates across the boundaries of mind and morphs in forms of arts and creation. It’s indeed one of the primary natures of man.
The older a particular culture is, the more enriched is its art. Among some of the oldest civilization of the world, India, happens to be a witnesses of exquisite art forms that have spread across the frontiers of international border and have been embraced by fellow beings of other lands.

There are many exquisite embroidery patterns prevalent across India.
Madhubani, Baluchari, Kantha are some of the most acclaimed art forms hailing from various parts of India. But, the country’s ethnic diversity has actually given rise to a vibrant rainbow of art which assimilates the best of all cultures and has given synthesized something unique.
On one hand India has gifted rich art forms to the patrons across globe; and on the other, it has also synthesized arts of other countries in her own unique essence. One such creation is Phulkari. As the name suggests, Phulkari is an artwork on floral motif.

Origin of Phulkari art: Phulkari, one of the most well known creations that bloomed in Punjab even though it had it’s origin in Iran. In Iran the same art is known as Gulkari…the word “Gul” meaning flower. Phulkari perpetuated in Punjab at around 19th century and soon became a very distinctive aspect of Punjabi homes. Whether it was wedding, ceremonies around birth or any other religious ceremonies, Phulkari was just a must have. A hobby, a pastime creation…the art was of  common interest to women who spent times together in afternoon; inevitably indulging to discussions while not missing out even a single stroke of needle as they created masterpieces of the art. Interestingly, the art didn’t have any pre documented format…the technicalities just passed via word of mouth as legacies from one generation to the other.

Embroidered designs: Rich embroidery patterns sewn on cotton fabric, better known as Khaddar with threads which were spinned manually loomed and most importantly dyed using natural colors. The Khaddar were mainly of four colors...viz. red, blue, white & black. It’s also available in hues of green, pink. While red was earmarked for young women and also newlyweds, white was more in vogue with older women.
Soon, Phulkari became an inherent part of Punjabi weddings and was an important contribution made by       the bride’s family. The design patterns were surely a reflection of the family’s social status. Rich families would supposedly employ embroidery patters which were more enhanced to others; among this darning stitch being one of the most popular.

Bagh:  The fondness for rich design patters is highly felt in Bagh. The literal meaning of the word means Garden…as the name suggests some of the Phulari patterns were designed to cover the entire surface of the fabric. Gold, silvery white are some of the dazzling colors that are used in Bagh which not just makes the Phulkari a rich reflection of the familial status but also makes it one of the most enriched creations of art.
The importance of the art has never faded away with time…rather it strengthened furthermore. From floral creations the art has embraced geometric patterns which surely meet the taste of urban fashionnistas who have always been experimental when it comes to fashion. The designs are also embedded into sarees, stoles and even bedcovers, thus making it a part of one’s everyday life.

No comments:

Post a Comment