Kerman embroidery

Quilted bathhouse cloth with Kerman embroidery, late 19th century. Quilted bathhouse cloth with Kerman embroidery, late 19th century. Courtesy Textile Research Centre, Leiden (TRC 1999.0265).

From the nineteenth century Kerman embroidery is characterised by a woollen ground with a twill weave. The ground is often red, but other colours, such as black, blue or white, are also found. Designs are based on the buteh motif and stylised flowers, which are worked in bands or individually, with coloured woollen threads.

An example now in the collection of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden (TRC 1999.0265) has a single, large embroidered  buteh in each corner worked in blanket stitch, double buttonhole stitch, satin stitch, stem stitch, straight stitch, tent stitch, all worked with multi-coloured worsted yarn.

It has often been suggested that here are links between Kerman embroidery and that from Kashmir. Points of similaity are the woollen twill weave of the ground, the woollen threads used for the embroidery, the embroidery stitches being used, and the embroidery motifs. Such similarities may be based on historical contacts, attested in the records, including the migration of many weavers from Kashmir to the Kerman region in modern southeast Iran in the second half of the nineteenth century.

See Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood and Willem Vogelsang, Encyclopedia of Embroidery from Central Asia, the Iranian Plateau and the Indian Subcontinent, London: Bloomsbury 2021, pp. 166-168.

WV, 19 June 2021.

Last modified on Saturday, 19 June 2021 17:20
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