designmango-Varieties of Phulkari Embroidery

Varieties of Phulkari Embroidery

Phulkari is the traditional rural folk embroidery of Punjab that was initiated by the women of the household to create something for their daughters upon birth, believing that they would follow the tradition while forming a harmonious bond within the community. Phulkari handicraft was generally made on the coarse cotton cloth called Khaddar, which was hand spun by the women to form a yarn that is further processed within the courtyards of their neighbors. 

Traditionally, the embroidery includes various geometrical shapes, patterns, and motifs such as paratha, wave, or flowers. It is usually done in a sparse and scattered manner but there are many more ways to do this. Throughout the history of the traditional Phulkari embroidery, numerous techniques have been incorporated into the crafting process. While a majority of them share the primary characteristics of the Phulkari embroidery, some, such as the Bagh embroidery, are so heavily focused on embroidery that the base cloth is completely covered. Read more on the symbolic importance of Phulkari embroidery here.

So, let’s begin our categorization with the Bagh embroidery.

  1. Bagh Embroidery

Bagh, which means a flower garden in the literal sense, is the technique in which the embroidery covers the base cloth entirely. It is therefore distinct from the other varieties of Phulkari embroidery in which a part of the cloth is visible as well. Bagh embroidery is mostly used for ceremonies and public gatherings such as wedding celebrations. 

  1. Chope Embroidery

Unlike the rest of the varieties, the Chope embroidery is distinct because it is performed on either side of the base cloth with red and yellow. Both ends of the fabric are embroidered with similar patterns with the only motifs being a series of triangles.

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  1. Subhar Embroidery

Subhar embroidery, together with the Chope embroidery, was mostly worn by brides traditionally. This style has a central motif that is covered with four motifs on the corners.

  1. Tilpatra Embroidery

Tilpatra, in literal sense, means the spreading of sesame seeds and the embroidery decorations are done in a manner that resembles spreading sesame seeds as well.

  1. Neelak Embroidery

This type of embroidery is mostly done with vibrant red, yellow, or golden darn stitch on a black or red background. To refine the colours further, a colored copper or a metal border is paired along with it.

  1. Sainchi Embroidery

This style requires the motifs to be outlined and drawn with a black ink first before being covered with darn stitch embroidery. The motifs used in this style are inspired from village life and include scenes of actions such as ploughing, grinding wheat, churning milk, etc.  

Kushal Trivedi

I'm a dedicated content writer, blogger, and copywriter with a flare to research new and interesting topics. Ideally, I want to be a poet. Realistically, I wouldn't.