Phulkari is an embroidery technique, which is specific to the Punjab region. The word Phulkari means ‘floral work’. Using a darn stitch with brightly coloured silk thread on plain cotton fabric, women in the Punjab would create spectacular and intricate designs for their Phulkari work. The most favoured colour was red and it’s shades as this is considered an auspicious colour. Phulkari would be used to decorate head scarf, handkerchiefs and shawls and clothin.
Phulkari embroidered items were produced by Punjabi women to use for themselves and to give to members of the family or the extended community, they were not sold for profit. It was a way for them to express their artistic flair and bring colour to their everyday lives. The designs produced would often be intricate and geometrical patterns, however most motifs were taken from everyday village life.
Phulkari is a true ‘folk art’ as it was always created for the people, by the people.
Today we find Phukari art being used to decorate households throughout the Punjab and indeed throughout the world.