Phulkari is an age old rural tradition of hand embroidery. Phul translates into flower and kari translates into craft. So, Phulkari simply means flower craft. A special style of embroidery devised by women from the Punjab region. It originated as a creative activity in the households, wherein women would stitch beautiful flower embroideries on dupattas, shawls and scarves. This was not done with a commercial purpose but to just brighten up the regularly used items. The widely loved Phulkari work is the red phulkari as it is considered auspicious and commonly used during festivities and celebrations.
Even though this art is being imitated by the textile industry, nothing can beat the hand embroidered phulkari work. Earlier the techniques and patterns that were used to make these motifs were unique to each Punjabi family and that is how they would identify each other. The embroidery work is done mainly on cotton fabric and its quality can be evaluated by knowing the regularity of the surface.
Now days designers have started incorporating phulkari embroidery on contemporary silhouettes as well. One can also find sarees, suits, dupattas and ethnic jackets accented with this embroidery. You will agree that this vibrant and beautiful craft will always remain a part of the Indian culture and tradition.