Typical of the mountainous Swat valley in northern Pakistan, this cushion cover is distinguished by the black cotton background embroidered in a zinging, shocking pink. This amazing piece measures 12¼ inches x 32 inches (31.1. cm x 81.3 cm). Swati embroidery patterns are traditionally handed down from mother to daughter and these are the typical color contrasts. In Swat, the embroidery is called bagh or flower garden. Elsewhere in Pakistan it is called phulkari, an Urdu word derived from phul, meaning flower. Swati textiles like this one ultimately express a local aesthetic. This piece is embroidered with floss silk in a predominantly geometric pattern, with the space stabilized by two centered medallions and decorated with borders in perfect symmetry. Swati embroidery patterns are typically dense and tightly constructed, breaking up the surface plane as no other Pakistani folk tradition does. The embroidery is exquisitely fine satin stitch counted-thread work in silk thread. These cushion covers are traditionally made for weddings. The condition of the textile is excellent. The last enlargement was taken of the reverse side of the piece showing the intricate embroidery.