India’s vast diaspora is home to an untold number of ethnic art forms. Over the years, some of them have managed to flourish, while many others remain hidden in village homes across the country. One such art form that has gained a good deal of recognition is that of Phulkari.
Phulkari (Phul – flower and Kari – art) is a Punjabi embroidery style that was originally very domestic in nature. The women of the community created these art pieces to serve as creative outlets for themselves. These were extensively used in their interior décor as well as during weddings. Over time, works of Phulkari came to be popular in other parts of the country as well.
In Bengaluru, original works of Phulkari, straight from the villages of Punjab may be found at Manog Agaria’s store at the Orion Caravan Flea Market. Having been here for the last three years, with additional outlets on MG Road and Brigade Road, Manoj says that his Phulkari wares sell amazingly well. He has a range of products – handbags, clutches, odhnis, dupattas, kurtas and even semi-stitched blouses.
Each time he gets in a new stock, it comes packed with a whole new range of wares. This ensures that his store always has a variety on display and you will not end up seeing the same things on a return visit.
Manoj explains that while Phulkari work is primarily flower based embroidery, the themes and designs do vary depending on the region. You also have Kutchi, Rajwadi and Kadai styles of Phulkari which are all named after these regions.
All of the work is hand done and the time taken is often dependent on the design. For example, a Kadai work double bed sheet with two pillow covers can take an artist up to 5 days to create. There are a range of materials used in the creation of phulkari. Base materials can be cotton (Tasvi cotton is a unique option), wool, polyester and silk and commonly used.
The work done on this depends on the weight of the material. The threads chosen for the work and the design are all based on how much weight the material can handle. Cotton, silk and woolen threads are commonly used.
Price ranges vary extensively based on materials used and product. Small products may begin at Rs 200 and work its way up. Bed sheet sets begin at Rs 1000 and go up to Rs 3000.
Phulkari offers you a range of ethnic products to choose from. Each piece has a unique identity ensuring that you are the cynosure of all eyes when you step out with it.