Phulkari with Cypress Trees
This Phulkari with cypress tree designs was created in India. Phulkari, meaning “flower work”, is silk embroidery on cotton plain weave from India.
Created by women and young girls, the technique was normally taught by the older female relatives or friends in the village. The embroideries were created for the bridal dowry and used as shawls for special occasions and later utilized in their homes as hangings and furniture covers. Phulkari is traditionally embroidered using brilliantly colored floss silk. In older examples there is often a variation in the color of the silk floss because silk was expensive and often purchased in small quantities, therefore when additional silk was needed to continue working on the piece, it was often from a different dye lot. The makers work from the back of the textile using various stitches so that the silk design shows in the front of the textile. The Hindi designs incorporate colorful human and animal forms while the Moslem textiles incorporate primarily geometric patterns rich with symbols of status or rank. Most likely made in India for the Persian market.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently had an exhibition of these textiles from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection.
Circa: 19th c.
Material: Cotton /Silk
Condition: Excellent, some small staining
Dimensions: 53" X 100"
Inventory number: TX4620