This rare fragment was embroidered in Gujerat in Western India during the late 17th or early 18th century. This is the type of embroidery brought back to Great Britain by the East India Company. Patterns were sent from Britain to be copied in India, and in particular in Gujerat which produced much of the export trade embroidery. I have included it in this category because it was made for the Western market. This piece is probably from a bedhanging. Bed curtains, valances, canopies and coverlets, chair covers and cushions were embroidered, usually by men, for the export Western market. In the Victoria and Albert museum they have sets of embroidered hangings similar to this with matching printed cotton chintz which could be used for covering walls. A hooked awl or ari with twisted silks created very tight chain stitches on a piece of Indian natural woven cotton. The bright clear colours and elegant design are stunning. Perfect as an example of this fine embroidery.
Random curving leaves and a variety of stylised flower heads, some attached to branches, adorn the white hand woven cotton ground, using shades of pink, ivory, peach, soft yellow, blues and greens using twisted silks.
8 1/2 in widest down to 3 in; 23cmwidest down to 7 cm
As you will see this has been pieced together from random scraps, but never the less is quite delightful. There are some tears as you will see, but these could be backed and supported.
Interwoven Globe edited by Amelia Peck p 169
All images and text © meg-andrews.com 2021