Wedding Shawl

wedding shawl

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Type: Clothing - Garment
Object Name: Wedding Shawl
Local Name: bagh phulkari
Place Made: Asia: South Asia, Pakistan, Punjab
Period: Early 20th century
Date: 1910 - 1930
Dimensions: L 238 cm x W 146 cm
Materials: Cotton; silk
Techniques: Plain woven; embroidered; hand-sewn
ID Number: T00.45.57
Credit: From the Fitzgerald Collection

Muslim village women traditionally made bagh shawls for family use. In the late 19th century, however, many bagh were commissioned by wealthy urban households, turning the bagh into a commodity. The making of bagh stopped shortly after Partition in 1947, but recent efforts have revived the tradition. Bagh (meaning “garden”) were for special occasions and are characterized by embroidery densely covering the cloth. Another characteristic of bagh is the manipulation of stitch direction to exploit the light reflective qualities of the silk floss to create a three-dimensional effect. Yet the embroidery was worked from the reverse; the front not seen until the piece was finished.