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Wrapped garment

  • Place of origin:

    Punjab (probably; Assam, according to register entry, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1855-1879 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven cotton, embroidered with floss silks and glass

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Phulkari ('flower work') was produced in northern India, particularly in the Punjab, where Caspar Purdon Clarke acquired his examples. Designs are embroidered onto evenly woven cotton cloth (khadi, khaddar) usually dyed terracotta red or indigo blue. Narrow strips of cloth are often joined together to make the whole piece. Untwisted soft floss silk (heer, pat) is used, mostly yellow and white, which reflects the light, lending a lustrous appearance to the finished piece. There are different types of phulkari work. Some leave parts of the cloth empty as part of the design. Hindu pieces usually include images of figures and animals; Muslim and Sikh work have geometric designs. In the type known as bagh ('garden', 'ground'), almost the whole surface of the cloth is covered with patterns done in surface darning stitch. Double running stitch was used for other designs, and a variety of additional stitch types added. Phulkari was made for everyday clothes and especially for ceremonial wear at weddings and festivals. Each type has a special name, such as Bagh, Chope, Sainchi, Darshan Dar, Vari da Bagh. Shishadar or sheesh bagh incorporates mirror work.

Physical description

Garment, black cotton or thick muslin, phulkari work, embroidered with floss silks in pink, gold and white, in an all-over latticework containing flower heads, embroidered around glass mirrors. Geometric border. Complete piece.

Place of Origin

Punjab (probably; Assam, according to register entry, made)


ca. 1855-1879 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Woven cotton, embroidered with floss silks and glass


Length: 244 cm, Width: 149 cm

Object history note

Transferred from India Museum 1879.

Historical context note

Intended for use as garment, clothing.

Descriptive line

Textile, wrapped garment, phulkari, probably Punjab (Assam according to register), ca. 1855-1879


Cotton; Floss silk; Silk thread; Glass


Woven; Embroidered


Textiles; Clothing; Parasol Foundation Trust Indian Textiles Cataloguing Project; India Museum


South & South East Asia Collection

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