Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


A Stitch in Time

[Indian (Punjabi), late 18th or early 19th century. The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, MFA, Boston.]

Adding to yesterday's post, here are two examples of much older phulkari embroideries, this time from the MFA, Boston's collection. In her book, Indian Embroideries, Rosemary Crill explains that phulkari literally translates to flower work but depending on the region in which a piece was made, the design might be entirely geometric. Chevron and diamond patterns are prevalent, for example. The common denominators among these ceremonial folk textiles are restrained designs on a plain-weave cotton ground and associations with weddings.  

[Indian (Punjabi), 19th century. Gift from Mrs. Strafford Wentworth to the MFA, Boston.]

Both of the textiles shown here were embroidered with silk thread. The MFA points out that the cloth at top has a small green leaf motif happening at the apex of each triangle in the main field, while the second piece, pictured directly above, is covered with highly stylized flowers. Warm reds, yellows and greens are characteristic colors.

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