Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

Phulkari Shawl with Stylized Bagh Tara (four-part flower) Designs

Accession Number
2005/2.11

Title
Phulkari Shawl with Stylized Bagh Tara (four-part flower) Designs

Artist(s)
Indian

Artist Nationality
Indian (South Asian)

Object Creation Date
1st half of 20th century

Medium & Support
homespun cotton cloth with silk embroidery

Dimensions
89 3/16 in x 49 in (226.5 cm x 124.4 cm)

Credit Line
Anonymous gift in honor of Karuna and Brijen Goswamy

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Spring/Summer 2012
Phulkari with stylized bagh tara (four-part flower) designs
India, Eastern Punjab
First half of 20th century
Homespun cotton cloth with silk embroidery
Anonymous gift in honor of Karuna and Brijen Goswamy, 2005/2.11
The Punjab region is known for these brilliant embroideries that can function as head coverings, wall hangings, or dresses. The name phulkari, meaning “flower working,” was given to them for their beautiful and intricate embroidered designs. A folk art handed down among women for generations, young girls would begin learning phulkari from their mothers, often participating in village stitching circles. Phulkari are embroidered with stylized designs of motifs like flowers and birds with ample space left between them to allow vibrant patches of the base fabric to show through. This fabric is commonly brick red, an auspicious color associated with shakti (power) and the mother goddess.
For a momentous occasion like a wedding, the entire surface of the phulkari would be covered with embroidery. This type of phulkari is called a bagh. From the time a young girl begins to learn phulkari, she hones her skills and works towards creating her wedding bagh, and it is said that she stitches into it her hopes and dreams for marriage. Though the tradition of phulkari embroidery nearly disappeared in the late twentieth century, the designs have recently become an international fashion trend.

Subject matter
The Punjab region is known for these brilliant embroideries that can function as head coverings, wall hangings, or dresses. The name phulkari, meaning “flower working,” was given to them for their beautiful and intricate embroidered designs. A folk art handed down among women for generations, young girls would begin learning phulkari from their mothers, often participating in village stitching circles. Phulkari are embroidered with stylized designs of motifs like flowers and birds with ample space left between them to allow vibrant patches of the base fabric to show through. This is commonly brick red, an auspicious color associated with shakti (power) and the mother goddess. For a momentous occasion like a wedding, the entire surface of the phulkari would be covered with embroidery. This type of phulkari is called a bagh. From the time a young girl begins to learn phulkari, she hones her skills and works towards creating her wedding bagh, and it is said that she stitches into it her hopes and dreams for marriage. Though the tradition of phulkari embroidery nearly disappeared in the late twentieth century, the designs have recently become an international fashion trend.

Physical Description
Embroidery on a plain cotton fabric (khaddar). Red-orange khaddar with neon orange, green, white and red accents which make up the bagh tara (four-part flower) design.

Primary Object Classification
Textile

Primary Object Type
embroidery

Additional Object Classification(s)


Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
costume (mode of fashion)
costumes
embroidery
textiles

3 Related Resources

Indian Textiles
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Marriage
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display