The Vedas, Guru Granth Sahib, folk songs of Punjab; all make references to phulkari. It is the art of embroidering on cloth with different colored threads has been known since the 15th century and is believed to have originated in Hazara and Chowkwal, areas of Northern Punjab, now in Pakistan. It was basically a folk art, done by women to decorate themselves or for other people to adorn themselves with. They are used on sarees, suits, dupattas were gifted to brides in order to celebrate the joyous occasion.
The focal point of phulkaris is the use of darn stitch on the wrong side of coarse cotton cloth with colored silken thread. Many interesting designs and patterns of wheat and barley are made signifying the workmanship of Punjabi artisans. The favored color is red as it is considered auspicious by the Punjabis. Other colors used are blue, brown, green and white, although white is generally used on clothes made for the elderly. Black is not preferred. Also, the fabric itself is used geometrically as an inner decoration so that the sequins and other embellishments become an integrated combination of colors.
What makes it unique is that it adds a dash of color to one’s wardrobe as well as life!
Several efforts are being made to keep the tradition of Phulkaris alive.. The Punjab Government has recently got approval for a GI or geographical indication on these products. This will enable traders to get themselves registered and The Centre can release a logo or hologram to distinguish the products.
Resultantly, Phulkaris is used extensively not only on salwar suits, sarees but also on bags, shoes, jackets etc. Juttis with such embroidery are extremely popular. Even caps and stoles carrying this work are selling like hot cakes. Designers like Manish Malhotra have used it extensively in their collections. At Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week 2013, Manish showcased his dresses in bright embellishments of this work.
Esha Gupta sizzles in Phulkari
The gorgeous Esha Gupta looked stunning in this black net saree with intricate phulkari work, interestingly done on the under-skirt.
A dash of colors in this stole!
The model sports a crisp black kurta and salwar with a ravishing phulkari stole. The black satin border gives it that extra style!
Phulkari at its best!
The splendid use of phulkari work provides employment to the achkans. Here are some short and long anarkalis and skirts worn by the models at Wills Lifestyle Fashion week.
Related: Beautiful Anarkali Collections
Simply awesome blouse!
The model looks sophisticated and urbane in this vivid pink blouse along with navy blue saree.
Dazzling Show Stopper- Jacqueline
Sri Lankan beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez looked extremely beautiful in this phulkari embroidered Indo-western outfit when she was the show stopper at Manish Malhotra’s show.
Beautiful Floral Phulkari Dupatta
This carrot red dupatta with floral motif phulkari is not just beautiful but useful to dress up a simple outfit.
For daily use
A traditional red and blue phulkari dupatta looks awesome and is great for everyday use.
Heavy and exclusive dupatta
Cedar pink dupatta with sequined borders gives bride that coy, girly look.
Red phulkari Saree for the style conscious
This gorgeous, red heavily embroidered phulkari saree can either be dressed-up or dressed down depending on the blouse that it is worn with. A beige or nude coloured blouse like the one in the image,,can help dress it down,; whereas a red or gold blouse is great to wear to a formal occasion.
Simple and elegant saree in phulkari
Stylish and simple black saree in chiffon with red phulkari embroidery is suitable for all ages.
Red and black phulkari for the newly married!
This intricately woven phulkari saree is ideal for the newly married.