Sunday 11 June 2023, Traditional Figurative Phulkaris with Saima Kaur
14:00 - 17:00 BST (British Summer Time)
Online workshop, hosted on Zoom by Saima Kaur
Saima Kaur is a Yorkshire based textile artist specialising in hand embroidery inspired by Indian folk art. Her work is informed by the figurative folk embroideries of Punjab, India, known as Phulkaris. Traditional Phulkaris were hand embroideries created by women within domestic settings to mark significant rites of passage, in particular a girl's marriage. Bold geometric or figurative patterns were hand embroidered using untwisted silk thread onto hand spun coarse cotton fabric known as 'khaadi'. Most Phulkaris were created over years and months, often with women across generations working on them together. The final embroideries would become an important part of a young woman's trousseau and kept for years to come.
Kaur applies their bold use of colour, illustrative qualities and storytelling techniques to her own work in a bid to create hand embroideries that are places of dreams, magic and play. She often adds text and humour to her work, giving them a contemporary quality.
Kaur studied Contemporary Arts and previously worked in the Arts and Museum sector. She is now a full-time textile artist and freelance tutor. Kaur makes and sells work for interiors alongside delivering community projects that explore wellbeing and acts of kindness.
This workshop will focus on giving you the skills to appreciate and recreate some of the most joyful elements found in traditional figurative Phulkaris.
The first part of the workshop will focus on understanding the compositions of
traditional Phulkaris by focusing on three diverse examples. You will be encouraged to look closely and draw some of the patterns, creatures and people you see within these embroideries. This exercise will also give you an understanding of the use of stitch direction, colourways and pattern formation in Phulkaris.
The second part of the workshop will initially focus on learning the traditional darning stitch and ways in which it can be used to fill a range of shapes. Once you are confident with this stitch, you will be supported to create your own mini composition, drawing together all the elements of the workshops.
By the end of the workshop, you would have created your own Phulkari inspired
composition and although it won’t be entirely finished, you would have started
embroidering it using traditional colours and stitches (and leave with a smile!).
Level of experience required
A basic knowledge of hand embroidery is necessary. A willingness to participate in
the basic drawing exercise is also appreciated.
Materials pack and details of what it will contain
- Fabric block printed with a traditional phulkari motif
- 3 x 24cm square fabric in white, yellow and rust
- 2 x 3 stranded cotton in dark blue, yellow and deep red
List of additional materials and/or equipment that participants need to provide
- 6” or 8” inch embroidery hoop
- Plain paper
- Felt tips/ coloured pencils in various colours
- Pen to draw on the fabric (water soluble pen or heat erasable pen such as a
Frixion pen )
- 12 x high-res square images of your work - both process images and finished pieces
(please note that images must be square).
The event will be recorded and a recording sent to ticket holders after the event. Please allow 7 workings days for us to send you the recording.
All workshop sessions are non-refundable.