Bagh is a style of embroidery done on clothes used during ceremonies in Punjab. The name ‘bagh,’ which means garden, is derived from the peculiar style of enclosing the designs inside a square, giving it an appearance of a garden. A bride wears a cloth containing this embroidery prepared by her grandmother, the making of which starts right from the time of her birth. The years taken in the making, makes it a highly prized possession for a life time.
Bagh embroidery is usually done on bedcovers and shawls made of thick handloom cloth, dyed in terracotta shade. Gold and silver threads are usually used for the embroidery work. Decorative objects like tiny mirrors and beads are also stitched into the cloth for additional effect. In some cases fine cross stitches are also implemented.
Usually the name of the design scheme used is added before the word ‘bagh’ to describe the artwork. Some of the works are Kerala bagh (Kerala design), gobi bagh (cabbage), mirchi bagh (chilly), Ashrafi bagh (gold coin), dhoopchaon bagh (sunlight and shade), lahriya bagh (waves), parida bagh (strips) and many more. The Shalimar bagh and Chaurasia borrowed designs from the Mughal gardens. The chowries bagh uses straight or zigzag lines of white. The Darshan dwar bagh embroidery is made on red cloth depicting human figures interlaced with architectural designs. The Chope bagh uses large yellow colored borders and corners. The most renowned of the lot is Bawan bagh which features up to 52 shades. This particular work requires lots of skill and expertise.