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To a connoisseur of Phulkari embroidery, it is a mystique! Every stitch once placed on the fabric tells a story, a story that comes crafted in emotions taking the form of motifs. Phulkari from Punjab: Embroidery in Transition is the outcome of the authors’ quest in search of these stories, their sojourns to the villages and by lanes of Punjab that are home to this form of craft. Meticulously researched, with text and pictures that bring to life the nearly lost craft, the book traces the history of Phulkari through the ages: the craft, the decline, the revival. It highlights the agonies of lost finesse and compulsions of commoditization that the practitioners of the art shared with the authors. And on a positive note, it shares instances of revival and innovation, narrates the robustness with which Phulkari has re-entered the imagination of designers.
The book is not a mere chronicle of Phulkari embroidery but a lived experience that spanned over seven years. Stitch craft and its depiction is only one aspect of the narratives; while the canvas inter alia encapsulates rituals that sustain traditions, markets that process the craft, connoisseurs eager to conserve and institutions responsible for its sustenance. The book is a source of inspiration for enterprising students of craft, institutions teaching art, craft, culture and history as also a befitting tribute to a distinct cultural tradition. It offers glimpses of India’s heritage and diverse treasure trove in the field of textile craft.