Dress Fabric, Gujarat (India)

Dress fabric, Gujarat, western India, c. 1710. Dress fabric, Gujarat, western India, c. 1710. Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, acc. no. T.20-1947.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a piece of dress fabric measuring 220 x 106 cm. It was probably made in Gujarat, western India, in the early eighteenth century, and consists of a cotton ground material with silk thread embroidery. The designs include birds, flowers, fruit, but also architectural motifs and are worked in chain stitch. The designs are repeated twice for every width.

Curatorial information tells that these embroideries were carried out in Gujarat by professional male embroiderers. They worked for the Mughal court, but also for the European market. The designs are a mixture of Chinese, Indian and European motifs and reflect the fashion of 'Chinoiserie' that was popular in Europe in the eighteenth century. The designs recall the 'bizarre' style that was popular in France in the early eighteenth century.

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 4 January 2017).


Last modified on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 11:49
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