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Weaving And Embroidery

Weaving and embroidery is one of the most treasured traditions of India and Punjab is undoubtedly one of the few places in India where this tradition has not only been preserved but has also evolved with times. From wedding outfits to home décor and wall hangings to upholstery, weavings are conspicuously present in various forms and designs. Punjab weaving and embroidery is known for its rich styles, and brilliant use of colors and designs that’s unique to this region.

An Art Form that Demands Great Accuracy and Commitment

Embroidery is a popular traditional art form in Punjab in which fabrics are decorated using special needle and a riot of soft and bright colored threads. Embellishments such as quills, sequins, pearls, small mirrors, beads and other accessories are used to give fabrics that distinct look. Punjab weaving is recognized by its unique and distinct needlework which is clearly unrivaled by other forms of embroidery. Popularly known as Phulkari, the weaving creates minute and sharp designs with great attention to detail, symmetry and accuracy.  

Embroidery – An Art That’s Deeply Entrenched in the Punjabi Culture

Embroidery is an intricate form of delicate threadwork done manually and unhurriedly with a needle. The tradition of embroidery is deeply entrenched in the life of Punjab craftsmen who have learnt the art from their ancestors. Women are however, the torchbearer of this invaluable family craft. Embroidery of yore are replicated on various types of clothes, including saris, bags and even home décor. Women use their creativity and imagination to extend the application of embroidery on many objects, much beyond what their ancestors did. Needless to say, hand embroidered works, even with their slight imperfections; still deliver results that are far superior to embroidery work done by machines.

The basic processes and methods of embroidery of the early days are still in use today.  Some of the fundamental techniques that are still in vogue are Chain stitch, blanket stitch, running stitch, button-hole stitch, cross stitch and satin stitch. The Industrial Revolution forced the use of machine-based embroidery on craftsmen but the traditional style still has many buyers.

Use of Embroidery in Daily Lives

Weaving and embroidery touches human lives in many ways every day. They can be seen, for instance, in floor spreads or beds made of cotton in which various types of motifs are interwoven. The motif elements are introduced in the form of stripes, squares, pictures of animals and birds etc. to add to the uniqueness of these mundane things.

Punjab weaving and embroidery is also done on shawls, shirts, salwars and even on bed sheets. Phulkari is a popular traditional weave form in which needlework is done on a deep colored piece of cloth. There are many forms of Phulkari art forms still practiced in Punjab as there is a huge demand for them not only in India but also in many foreign countries too. Hand fans and juttis, the Punjab brand of embroidered footwear are hugely popular in many European countries. These juttis have lots of colorful threads in the embroidery work, which adds to their novelty value.

The abundance of patterns and styles, that Punjab weaving and embroidery offers are carefully handcrafted. This is topped by some remarkable needle work by the experienced and innovative craftsmen and women. The motifs maybe have transformed over time and may present a contemporary look today, but its beauty remains undiminished. In fact, it has only got richer and more attractive with time.

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