Phulkari (Punjabi: ਫੁਲਕਾਰੀ) embroidery technique from the Punjab region (divided between India and Pakistan) literally means flower work, which was at one time used as
the word for embroidery, but in time the word “Phulkari” became restricted to embroidered shawls and head scarfs. Simple and sparsely embroidered odini (head
scarfs), dupatta and shawls, made for everyday use, are called Phulkaris, whereas garments that cover the entire body, made for special and ceremonial occasions like
weddings and birth of a son, fully covered fabric is called Baghs (“garden”) and scattered work on the fabric is called “adha bagh” (half garden).
This whole work is done
with white or yellow silk floss on cotton khaddarh and starts from the center on the fabric called “chashm-e-bulbul” and spreads to the whole fabric.Punjab is known for
its Phulkaris. The embroidery is done with floss silk thread on coarse hand woven cotton fabric. Geometrical patterns are usually embroidered on the Phulkaris.
Phulkaris and Baghs were worn by women all over Punjab during marriage festivals and other joyous occasions. They were embroidered by the women for their own
use and use of other family members and were not for sale in the market.