AwardsThe member of Phulkari Mehla SHG received Kamala Devi Puraskar for embroidery work.
Annual TurnoverLess than 10 Lac
Phulkari literally means flower work. Densely embroidered motifs, barely revealing the base fabric is Bagh (garden). Time was, when on the birth of a son, during weddings and festive seasons, women all over Punjab sported Phulkari and Bagh odhnis. It was a personal craft, an expression of one’s creative urge. Usually a group activity for women,
Phulkari means floral craft. It is traditional embroidery done in a simple and sparse design
with closely packed parallel stitches arranged in geometric patterns with gorgeous glowing colors blending in a silky shimmer resembling a carpet of flowers in full bloom. The most spectaculars called Bagh or "flower garden" are embroidered with closely packed designs to resemble a dense carpet of flowers in full bloom The needlework on a particular piece is usually a labour of love of a single embroiderer, for the excellence of the embroidery lies in the uniformity of the smooth silk stitches.
Originally Phulkari patterns were done with dyed silk floss thread, with stitches in geometric patterns for odhnis, chaadars and dupattas, on cotton handloom fabrics. It is essential for the base fabric to have distinct warp and weft that enable embroiderers to count the threads with their needles. Made specifically for handloom by small-scale, village-based primary producer-run co-operatives, Malkha has a distinctive texture, drape and durability.
Phulkari embroidery is a community craft: girls learn the stitches from their mothers and grandmothers, designs are passed on from generation to generation, and colors conform to cultural preferences. The quality and quantity of a bride's dowry collection represents the social prestige and wealth of her entire family. Thus the needlework on a particular Bagh is usually a labor of love of a single embroiderer, for a shawl's excellence lies in the uniformity of the smooth silk stitches that densely cover the rough cotton ground. Called khaddar, Khaddar is made with handspun cotton, left natural or home-dyed shades of blue, brown, yellow, or red with indigo, madder root, acacia bark, or flowers of "flame of the forest." Ideal for Phulkari embroidery, khaddar does not pucker or pull, so it can be worked without a frame, and its coarse weave facilitates the accurate counting of threads, which is essential for baghs.
Promotion of Phulkari, and Traditional Textiles and Crafts of Nabha
Phulkari Mehla SHG is an initiative of The Nabha Foundation .The Foundation promotes innovative rural development in Nabha, Punjab while working in the areas of Education, Livelihoods, Women Empowerment, Health, Youth Employment, and Heritage.
The Foundation works to revitalize traditional arts and crafts as the corner stone for a home based self-employment industry for the women of Nabha. The craft chosen was Phulkari embroidery done without tracing, through count of thread .We have trained more than 700 women and the traditional art of Phulkari has been revived to preserve the cultural legacy of Punjab. Currently we are working with more than 120 active embroideres.
The Phulkari revival endeavor is supportive of women forming self- help producer groups, motivates them to be consciously exploring new color combinations and sustaining product quality. They are taught use of motifs, basic principles of selecting quality materials, pricing their handwork, grading the final product to reflect the quality and quantity of work.
Program focus was to continue to train more women the original technique of the craft and revive the authenticity. The challenges were identified and tried to overcome to promote authentic Phulkari in the worldwide market. The products were send to different buyers with description of the process. The awareness creation an important aspect of the program. The SHG members participated in Business development training programs ,Design development workshopS etc . The continuous support was achieved through various mediums.
Phulkari Mehla SHG is comprised of all women artisans willing and highly skilled to develop the phulkari embroidery with the traditional method of counting threads and create exquisite products with finest quality to promote and revive the dying craft.
Through this website we want to showcase the product range with variety of phulkari motifs like mirchi/belan/peacock/surajmuchi/bhul bhulaiya /thirma etc.
Nabha Phulkari Collection
We are presenting the collection of Nabha Phulkari products with exquisite selection of traditional motifs from the ancient form of embroidery techniques done by the artisans .The pieces are beautifully handcrafted with the cotton and silk floss thread on fabric like handloom weave and silk fabric base with beautiful colour combinations .
There are mixture of borders and motifs like flower motif/mirchi/peacock motif etc in the embroidery designs which take us to the memories of the era when the beautiful embroidery was done by the women of the houses telling stories of the different ceremonies and lifestyle .The colours like red/gold/white/blue/yellow which has there own meaning were selected by the active members of the SHG to spread the message of their culture and heritage.
"Nabha Phulkari" offwhite cotton stole hand embroidered with Phulkari motifs