Phulkari Embroidered Cloth
Creativtiy At Its Apex
One has to see to believe the creativity and skills possessed by the people of Punjab. Ever since history has been recorded, Punjab is known to have added some of the most interesting and intricate forms of handicrafts to the already vast treasure of Indian artistry. People of Punjab used to create art works from most un imaginable raw materials; like mud. And like many other states, Punjab too was a major destination for embroidery and apparel works. But the use of bright colors and unique designs always put them in a class of their own.
In the world of arts and crafts, Punjab is most famous for its wood works. The carpenters in Punjab have time and again proved their worth by producing exquisite wooden specimens. Their most known product is comfortable beds with back rests that are fitted with mirrors. The most attractive parts of these beds are their carved legs. The legs are called Pawas. The carvings are generally of animals, geometrical motifs and floral. In urban Punjb, one can see the use of machinery for carving and cutting. But travel into the rural Punjab and you will amazed to see that still there are carpenters who use only traditional methods. Furniture and toys made in Punjab are a hot favorite export material.
Phulkari is a form of embroidery practiced mainly by the women of Punjab. This colorful embroidery form is generally seen on shawls and Dupattas. The size of stiching is what decides the beauty of the Phulkari clothes. The smaller the stitches, the better the Phulkari is considered. The thread employed for embroidery is made of silk in gold, yellow, crimson red, blue and green colours. For Phulkari, only one strand of thread is used at a time. Vertical, Horizontal and even diagonal stitching is done in Phulkari to provide an effect of lights and shades. Phulkari done clothes are a must in the collections of a bride. It is also sometimes given to the bride by her parents as dowry.
Mud works is one of the earliest art forms of Punjab that gained popularity. Mud work in Punjab started as a result of some superstitions to keep away evil spirits. Slowly, designing of different motifs gave rise to a new art expression. Done mainly by rural women, it is practiced generally during many festivals like Navaratri, karva-Chauth, Holi and Diwali.
Pottery is another form of mud work that is widely practiced in Punjab. Mud and clay for pottery is gathered form the nearby waterbody. Apart from pottery, it is also used for making toys
Earlier known as Jullundur, Jalandhar is among the most ancient cities of Punjab. Situated around 90 km from Amritsar, it was the capital of Punjab till 1953 after which Chandigarh was made the capital. The main attraction of this old city is the 800 year old Imran Musoleum, 400 year old Jamma Masjid and the magnificent Devi Talab Mandir. All these monuments are known for their splendid architecture and carvings. Other than its tourist attractions, Jalandhar is most famous for the production of sports items and leather goods. In fact, Jalandhar is the highest producer of leather tool pouches and aprons in the world with its client base spread to all corners of the world.
The rich culture and tradition of Punjab is reflected by an art that has been recognized as a different industry in itself. The Folk Toy Industry has earned Punjab name and fame through its colorful and vibrant products. Over the last few years it has grown to be counted among important industries for the improvement of financial condition of the state. This occupation of toy making is said to be prevalent since the Indus valley civilization. The tradition was then carried on down generations and today is a way of lively hood for many families. Gone are the days when these toys were only used by children to play. Today they are also considered as excellent display pieces for their exquisite beauty and flawlessness.