Phulkaris are embroidered shawls that are a part of a woman’s dowery. They are made out of cotton ground with silk embroidery. Embroiderers decorate the plain-woven cotton fabric using brilliantly colored floss silk. They work from the back of the textiles and use a variety of stitches that show the threads almost solely on the front. The majority of long stitches reflect the light and contribute to a luxurious effect.
Phulkaris originate in the Punjab region and its vicinity which straddles eastern Pakistan and western India. They are made by both Muslims and Hindus. Muslim phulkaris are mostly abstract or floral in design, while the Hindu ones feature figures and animals. White ground phulkari were popular in the 19th century, but in the 20th-century embroiderers began also to use dark red-brown or blue ground fabrics that had been dyed with madder or indigo.
This phulkari is made of red-brown ground and embroidered in a diamond-shaped grid in the main field with smaller diamond shapes filling the borders. Thin additional borders feature abstracted birds.
Circa: 20th Century
Material: Silk on Cotton
Condition: Good, some light thread loss
Dimensions: 53" X 104"
Inventory number: TX4860