Among the things to miss about India for a lifetime of not being there is her textiles.
Below is an example of phulkari (flower work): a traditional embroidery of the Punjab.
It is an embroidery on domestic cotton woven cloth with silks imported from China and also with cotton and wool thread.
The stitches used are darning, pattern darning and running stiches; herringbone, cross and Colonial knot stitches; couching, split and Cretan stitches, chain and stem stiches, slip, button hole and zig-zag stiches. Mirror work is sometimes incorporated also.
The themes are sometimes abstract and sometimes describe a domestic scene, a village scene, a travelling circus or have a theme related to ‘darshan’.
Phulkari is part of dowries, often made by the bride herself. It is used to cover the head, shoulders and torso. It is also used as wall-hangings and bed covers.
Here are examples of phulkari from the Punjab from before its partition in 1947 between India and Pakistan. There are also examples of couture by the designer, Manish Malhotra.
On exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the spring of 2017.
Designed by Manish Malhotra, born 1965, Indian. Silk, machine and hand embroidered, 2017.
Designed by Manish Malhotra, born 1965, Indian. Silk, machine and hand embroidered, 2017