Blue Ground Head Covering (Phulkari)
This blue ground head covering is a phulkari that was made in the early 20th century in Punjab. It is made out of blue cotton densely embroidered with red flowers and yellow latticework in silk.
Phulkari are embroidered shawls that are made out of cotton and silk in Punjab and the greater region of northwest India and parts of Pakistan. Embroiderers decorate plain-woven cotton fabric with abstract geometric, floral, or figurative patterns, using brilliantly colored floss silk. The makers work from the back of the textiles and use a darning stitch so most of the silk shows on the front. These long silk stitches catch the light in a way that makes monochromatic designs appear multi-hued, which imbues the textiles with a certain fantastical quality.
White-ground phulkari were popular in the 19th century, but in the 20th century embroiderers began to also use deep red-brown or blue ground fabrics that had been dyed with madder or indigo.
Circa: Early 20th century
Origin: Punjab, India
Material: Silk embroidery on cotton
Condition: heavy loss to yellow part of embroidery, fair
Dimensions: 54" x 102"
Inventory number: TX3539