Brief History

The Patiala Handicraft Workshop Cooperative Industrial Society Ltd (Society for rural women empowerment) has been registered under the society registration (Registration No.1637) act 1860 with registrars of firms and societies (Punjab).

The WCIS Ltd. operating from 23-09-1997. The Registered office at 36 Raghubir Marg Model Town N.P. Station, Patiala(Pb.) It is a society which works for the empowerment of women and also for the revival of the languishing art of Punjab-Phulkari. Society aims at making rural women independent by creating craft centers. Women that are enrolled by the society are taught several stitched and handloom work before being asked to undertake embroidery and stitching work for the society.

The society also offers courses to women of the weaker section and has trained more than 10,000 women, not only in Phulkari, but other vocations as well. At the training centers, women are not only trained to work but are made aware of their rights and are taught marketing skills.

The Patiala Handicrafts workshop Co-operative industrial society was founded in 1997 with the intent to provide training in the rural areas of the Patiala district. With the motto 'Product and Earn while learn' their overall strategy is to maintain the present Phulkari surveys and market survey in the local market and to realize business growth expansion into international market. The society has conducted numerous surveys and considerable amount of Phulkari research in the rural areas bordering Patiala City.

Embroidery has been the sole prerogative of the women of Punjab and their mastery of various stitches has produced marvelous results and is the envy of art lovers all over the world. These intelligent women who had no formal education in arts, produced aesthetically satisfying, charming and elegant Phulkaris with thousands of different patterns. Embroidery is not only a positive but also a very absorbing occupation. It requires minimum of space and outfit and can be easily practiced in the home. Phulkari literally means "Flower working" and was at one time used for the word embroidery. But in course of time the word Phulkari became restricted to the embroidered head-cloth or Odhini. The simple embroidered odhinis or shawls made for everyday use are called Phulkaris. In phulkari the embroidery ornaments the cloth.
We have provided training in Phulkari craft & dress designing & embroidery to 8000 girls from different village in the cluster so far and continues to train 50 artisans in each class. They have also been successful in creating self help groups within the cluster.

The core activities of the society deals with upgrading the technical skills and design abilities of the artisans by conducting workshops and training programs. By working with the traditional crafts of Phulkari and making commercial viable products, the idea is to create a demand in national and international markets.

The society activities aims to build self reliance among the women to push them to setup their own enterprise eventually and become self employed.