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EMBROIDERY, WEAVING AND HANDLOOMS

Know your location
» North India
» Haryana
Craft Of : Haryana
Main Styles : Phulkari, Bagh
Done By : Women Folk
Main Art Forms : Shawls, Durries

The Floor Spreads: The DurriesThe Floor Spreads: The Durries
Haryana durries are rather coarse, although spectacular geometric designs adorn the entire rug. The Jats of Haryana are known to make durries with white triangles often set against a blue background. In Haryana, durrie-making is concentrated in and around Panipat.

The Shawls, The Lungis
Karnal is a hot spot for bright robes and 'lungis' (a skirt-like garment worn by men, a common garment worn by inhabitants of rural India.

The Haryana shawl, an offshoot of the shawl from Kashmir, is a work of art in itself. Known as 'phulkari', it is a spectacular piece of clothing, full of magnificent colours and intricate embroidery. Worn with a tight-fitting 'choli' (blouse) and 'ghaghra' (long skirt), it forms the basic winter wear for the women of Haryana.

Another kind of shawl is the 'chope', a rather simple affair in comparison to the 'phulkari' and 'bagh', and is presented to a new bride by her maternal grandmother. The 'darshan dwar' shawl is gifted to a temple, by a devotee whose wish has been fulfilled.

The Floral PhulkariThe Floral Phulkari
'Phulkari', meaning 'flowered work' is most popular in Punjab & Haryana. The warmth and richness of colours, the bold patterning and the patient hard work which go into the embroidery work of 'phulkari' make it symbolic of the women of Punjab and Haryana. A very coarse homespun texture, the 'Khaddar', is used as ground cloth in 'phulkari' and a simple stitch done entirely from the back in silken threads is applied to work out the patterns.

The 'phulkari' is made by female members of a house, and takes a long time to make; sometimes even a few years. Normally only one woman works on the design so that the uniformity is maintained. However, it is no surprise that the other women also contribute in little ways to its creation.

'Phulkari': For The Bride To Be
Traditionally, work on a 'phulkari' commences from the time a daughter is born in the family and is given to her at her wedding. Against a red background, motifs of birds, flowers and human figures are stitched into the cloth. The design is fed into the cloth from the reverse side using darning needles, one thread at a time, leaving a long stitch below to form the basic pattern.

The stitching is done in a vertical and horizontal pattern as well as variations from this standard format, so that when the 'phulkari' is finally complete the play of light on its shiny surface can do wonders. Satin and silk is also used frequently to enhance the effect.

PhulkariBagh: The Garden
The 'bagh' design almost always follows a geometric pattern, with green as the basic colour probably because mainly Muslims worked on them. Although lacking in technical finesse, it makes up for the loss by a colourful display of its design. Everything goes into its design - elephants, houses, crops, the sun, the moon, kites, gardens, anything and everything. The embroidery is worked into 'khaddar' (coarse cotton cloth) with silk thread. Khaddar is cheap and locally available everywhere in India, and in making a 'bagh' narrow pieces are used. Sometimes two or three 'baghs' will be stitched together to form a 'phulkari'.

'Bagh' differs from 'phulkari' basically in the manner the motifs are spread all over in an integrated pattern without leaving any space in between. 'Bagh' is also known by the name of 'Sar-pallu' in Haryana.



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