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Phulkari, which literally translates to ‘flower work’, is a unique style or technique of embroidery particular to Punjab. However, more than just a handicraft, the threads of Phulkari are inextricably tied to the history of Punjab. Both have endured much: partition, industrial reforms, changing economic and fashion trends. A recent exhibition held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art tried to tell just this story. Called ‘Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab’, it presented embroideries from pre-partitioned Punjab, drawn from the collection of…

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