The most widely practiced technique for hand embroidery in Punjab (Pakistan) is known as ‘Phulkari’ in the local language. This form of embroidery is traditionally used to decorate a garment, which can be a scarf or a shawl. Natural threads are used on coarse cotton fabric with folk patterns inspired by nature, birds and flowers being the most common elements. These garments used to be worn on special occasions and become heirloom pieces to pass on to next generations. Hand embroidery is traditionally known as an exclusive craft, as it involves a slow process that demands a lot of patience. Women used to embroider patterns inspired by their surroundings in between their daily life chores. Main feature of Phulkari embroidery is the use of satin stitch to fill in the pattern.
All of our hand embroideries are made in Punjab by local artisans using traditional hand embroidery techniques with our new designs. The process involves pouncing the design on the butter paper at first and then transferring the motif on the fabric, preparing the base for hand embroideries.
Our initial design of Bird Daisies is being sketched here, using gouache on paper, in our London studio.
Shahid, who works in Rani Bazar (Punjab), is tracing the Bird Daisies design onto a cotton base for Sharif Bibi to hand embroider with stranded cotton threads.
The embroidered surfaces are then made into our line of Hua Pouches by our sewers in London studio incorporating recycled tape metal zippers from YKK.