What Is Phulkari?

Are you curious to know what is phulkari? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about phulkari in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is phulkari?

What Is Phulkari?

Phulkari, a traditional embroidery art form originating from the colorful state of Punjab in India, is a true representation of the region’s rich and lively culture. The name “Phulkari” itself translates to “flower work,” signifying the intricate and vibrant floral patterns that adorn the fabric. In this blog, we will explore the fascinating world of Phulkari, its history, significance, techniques, and its enduring legacy in contemporary fashion and art.

A Rich History

Phulkari has a long and storied history, dating back to ancient times. This traditional Punjabi embroidery has been passed down through generations, with each family preserving and enriching the art form. The origins of Phulkari can be traced to the 15th century, and it has since become a cherished part of Punjabi culture.

Significance In Punjabi Culture

Phulkari is more than just a form of artistic expression; it is deeply ingrained in Punjabi culture and traditions. The craft has historically played a role in various aspects of life, from birth to marriage. Phulkari embroidered garments were often given as gifts during special occasions, symbolizing love and blessings.

Techniques And Styles

Phulkari is characterized by its vibrant and intricate floral designs. This traditional embroidery uses a unique counted thread technique, where the pattern is counted on the base fabric, which is typically made of hand-spun khadi or cotton. The use of a darn stitch called “Holbein stitch” is a distinguishing feature of Phulkari, creating an effect where the motifs appear the same on both sides of the fabric.

Styles Of Phulkari:

  1. Bagh: Bagh, which means “garden,” is a heavily embroidered style of Phulkari, often involving the entire surface of the cloth. This style is usually reserved for special occasions and ceremonies.
  2. Chope: Chope Phulkari features a more intricate, finer embroidery. It is typically used for everyday wear and can be seen on dupattas, shawls, and headscarves.
  3. Subhar: Subhar Phulkari is characterized by its sparsely embroidered patterns, often seen on smaller pieces like handkerchiefs or the corners of headscarves.

The Enduring Legacy

Phulkari has transcended time and geographical boundaries to become a cherished tradition, not just in Punjab but worldwide. Its significance goes beyond fashion, with contemporary designers and artists incorporating Phulkari into their work. The vibrant colors and intricate patterns have made Phulkari a popular choice in Indian and international fashion.

Today, Phulkari can be seen in various forms, from apparel to home decor items like cushion covers and wall hangings. This art form is also celebrated at cultural events and exhibitions, showcasing the intricate craftsmanship and the enduring spirit of Punjab.


Phulkari is a testament to the rich heritage of Punjab, a reflection of its colorful culture and traditions. This ancient form of embroidery has withstood the test of time, continuing to enchant people with its vibrant colors and intricate designs. Its unique ability to blend tradition with contemporary fashion has made Phulkari a beloved art form, celebrated not just in Punjab but across the globe.


What Is Phulkari Known For?

An embroidery tradition historically practiced and inherited by the women of Punjab in India and Pakistan. Literally meaning “flower work,” phulkari is a counting-thread embroidery recognised by its neat, regular patterns of geometric and natural motifs.

What Is The History Of Phulkari In Punjab?

The first mention of Phulkari is being found in the famous folklore of Punjab Heera Ranjha. The embroideries were a mere reflection of a woman’s life and every woman had her way of representing herself. It was an art that offered complete freedom of creativity.

How Is Phulkari Made?

The Phulkari embroidery is created with colourful silken thread and a darn stitch on the back of khaddar, a coarse cotton fabric. The primary attribute of this kind of needlework is this. Phulkari embroidery used to be used on shawls and Odhani in the past solely.

What Is The Meaning Of Phulkari In Punjab?

Phulkari, meaning “flower work” (phul= flower, kari=work) is a type of embroidery originally made throughout the Punjab, a region now straddling Pakistan and India.

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