Indian embroidered phulkari
This is a typical example of the 'phulkari' embroidery of the Punjab. This is a cloth made for ceremonials and is so closely embroidered that the design covers almost the whole ground.
This example has the characteristic rich earth-red, handwoven, cotton ground with the design worked in cream and yellow floss silk in darning stitch over counted threads. The use of both horizontal and vertical stitches gives the effect of more than one colour as the light plays on the sheen of the silk.
The patterns for the embroidery are traditional and executed from memory. They are perhaps the least influenced by Persian motifs of all the Indian embroideries, as shown by their lack of naturalistic motifs and use of geometric devices.
Phulkari (flower work) embroidered cloths are the best known type of Punjabi textiles, made by women for domestic use and as gifts. This particular work is known as 'bagh' (garden), the term used to describe the more elaborate phulkari where the ground is often completely covered by embroidery. Such cloths were made as ceremonial gifts.
[see 'Colours of the Indus: Costume and Textiles of Pakistan' by Nasreen Askari and Rosemary Crill, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1998]