Cloak

1850-1860 (made)
Cloak thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This cloak was embroidered in Kashmir for the European market and the design is very similar to patterns seen on exported shawls. Needleworkers (rafugars) had traditionally been employed in the shawl-weaving process to repair and join together the individual pieces that made up the garment. During the early nineteenth century they began to embroider the entire shawl, copying the woven originals as well as following new patterns. This was introduced as a cost-cutting measure as embroidered shawls were easier and quicker to manufacture.

The lining and disposition of the borders down the front and along the hem of the cloak imitate those on Indian choghas (loose coats). In terms of construction, however, the cloak copies European fashions, with its stiffened collar and cape.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Superfine wool embroidered with silk thread, part-lined with silk
Brief Description
Man's cloak of superfine wool embroidered with coloured silk threads, Kashmir, India, 1850-1860
Physical Description
Man's cloak of superfine wool embroidered with coloured silk thread and part-lined with silk. Three-tiered cloak and embroidered in minute darning stitches. Fastens at the neck with a black silk loop and bobble from which hangs a cord and two tassels. Faced with red and black shot silk.



The main part of the cloak has a broad border at the bottom of sprays of flowers with scrolling fern-like leaves. Each spray is under an ogee arch and above each arch is a spray of fern-like leaves. These sprays of fern-leaves continue up the two front edges of the main part of the cloak. In the corner of each front is a cone shape with leaves and flowers. Narrow border of a coiling stem bearing lotus blossoms and leaves. This border is continued all round the top tier of the cloak which forms the broad collar. This is slightly padded and quilted underneath in running stitch. The second tier of the cloak is embroidered all over, first with a broad band of ovoid compartments containing a symmetrical arrangement of ferns and flowers with other ferns and flowers above, below and between, and next with a band of sprays of flowers on gently curving stems, and finally with a band of ogee arches with flowers and leaves below and in the spandrels. At the top and bottom are very narrow borders of leaves on wavy stems. Orange, red and mauve are the main colours.
Dimensions
  • Centre back length: 60in
  • Hem width: 295in
Credit line
Given by Mr Ronald Baker
Production
Embroidered for the European market.
Summary
This cloak was embroidered in Kashmir for the European market and the design is very similar to patterns seen on exported shawls. Needleworkers (rafugars) had traditionally been employed in the shawl-weaving process to repair and join together the individual pieces that made up the garment. During the early nineteenth century they began to embroider the entire shawl, copying the woven originals as well as following new patterns. This was introduced as a cost-cutting measure as embroidered shawls were easier and quicker to manufacture.



The lining and disposition of the borders down the front and along the hem of the cloak imitate those on Indian choghas (loose coats). In terms of construction, however, the cloak copies European fashions, with its stiffened collar and cape.
Collection
Accession Number
T.75-1964

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record createdNovember 14, 2006
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