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Indian Habitat Centre aims to revise Phulkari an ancient textile of Punjab

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-04-08 17:00:00 – New Delhi

India Habitat Centre through its cultural festival aiming to not only contemporizing Phulkari, an ancient textile of Punjab but save this rich old tradition textile art and taking it to a completely new level.

Phulkari, a rural tradition of handmade embroidery, meaning " flower work " was perpetuated by the women of Punjab (North-west India & Pakistan) during the 19th century and till the beginning of the 20th century. The word phulkari indicates the shawl that was loomed and embroidered to cover women's heads or to be displayed in a gurudwara (Sikh temple).

There is something joyful about Phulkaris – the traditional odnis that are made with colourful silk floss on cotton. Women in Punjab drape them during special occasions. In the older times, women in Punjab used to weave phulkar for weddings and other important occasions, such as before the birth of their kids.

Over the years, the tradition and the textile have become popular all over India. Even though the textile industry today, have been trying hard to keep this art alive but nowadays phulkari is imitating this art with the help of machines, they are almost exclusively industrially made. Traditional Phulkari work has almost disappeared in its original form, due to the partition of India and Pakistan

The traditionally embroidery work was invariably made on a plain cotton fabric (khaddar) whose thread was manually spinned, loomed and dyed with natural pigments. The embroidery was made on the wrong side of the khaddar with a thread of floss silk called pat. A phulkari was at times made by one woman and at times by several ones who could even work simultaneously on different parts or stripes of khaddar.

The festival will ¬put on display some 150-years-old phulkaris, some of which belong to the label while a few have been borrowed from the personal collections of royal families along with it will be displayed ¬colourful hand fans and cots.

The festival mela phulkaris will begins on April 11, at Open Palm Court getting converted into a traditional Punjab house.

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