Handicrafts of Punjab
Punjab's reputation as being one of the most colourful and vibrant states in the country is validated in the exotic splendor of its traditional 'Phulkari' work. But there are many other facets to its handicraft heritage than the 'Phulkari', and visitors can enjoy the range of texture and design in all its dynamic beauty.
One of the most colourful and vibrant features of Punjab's handicrafts traditions is 'Phulkari' which goes back to the 15th century. Phulkari embodies itself in the vibrant splendor of the 'bagh' design- tightly packed embroidery on a cloth in bold colours, to resemble a garden of flowers, or Phulkari work with more spread out designs. Phulkari were always made for home use traditionally, but visitors can pick up a souvenir from the excellent selection available in the branches of the Punjab government emporiums.
Wood Carving & Laquer Work:-
Reputed for their excellence in woodcraft and brilliant laquer work, Kartarpur, Hoshiyarpur and Jalandhar have been producing items of utility and decoration. You can buy laquer 'pidhis' (4 legged stools), lamps, tables and wooden toys. Royal patronage saw the development of excellent wood carving and ivory inlay work. And though use of ivory has been banned, the wood carving continues to enjoy an excellent reputation as can be seen from the proliferation of mirror frames, tables, sofas etc. Bahadurgarh is renowned for its carved sandalwood items.
The 'juttis' of Punjab continue to find admirers both among the locals and the international visitor. Available in a wide range of coloured thread work and gold and silver wirework, they are an integral part of its handcrafting tradition.. The 'juttis' of Patiala, the most renowned, come in gold wire and sequin work too. Muktasar, close to the town of Faridkot, is reputed for its 'khosa' (hard) and 'kasuri' (soft) leather 'juttis'.
Hand woven coverings for both floor and beds, in the form of cotton rugs or 'durries', are a speciality in the villages of Punjab. The best known centres are Hoshiyarpur, Jalandhar, Anandpur Sahib and Nakodar. Carpet weaving may not be as popular but one of the oldest carpet weaving centres in the country is Amritsar.