Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery
Amazing Sar Pallu on a navy blue Nilak base cloth. The impact of the gold & magenta against the deep blue base is amazing!
But the remarkable aspect of this textile is the presence of distinctly hybrid features!
The central panel is filled with motifs that are the kind seen in Sainchis and never in Sar Pallus.
Moreover, two of the motifs – the girls churning butter and the Ganesh Sthapna in the centre – are not characteristics seen in Punjab textile art. Neither is the ‘cross stitch’ with which these have been rendered.
There are several theories regarding the presence of the central band.
It could be a migration/inter-marriage related introduction of motifs from a different culture.
But a more plausible theory offered by an expert on Phulkaris is as follows:
Up until recently, Old Indian textile dealers all belonged to a particular Vaghri community hailing from Gujarat and 95% of phulkari’s traded would have passed through Vaghri hands at some point. It could be that this piece was held by one family for awhile and at some point the Vaghri community trader’s wife decided that the field – that is usually left plain – was simply too plain and added some motifs that she was familiar with in a stitch that she knew!
And so, a textile from Punjab received motifs from Gujarat!
There is so much detective work to be done in reconstructing the complex lives of antique textiles!
[This piece has now moved to another home]