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  • Place of origin:

    Kutch (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1880 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk satin; silk thread embroidery, mirror pieces

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Shisha ('glass') or mirror work, is common in the northern desert states of India. It may have evolved from naturally occurring mica but from the 19th century onwards, specially made pieces of mirrored glass were used. Mirrored glass was blown by hand and then cut into different shapes, although nowadays a more uniform and thicker factory-made glass is often used. A variety of stitches is used to attach the mirror pieces to the fabric. The border design is done in the chain stitch characteristic of Kutch embroidery. Kutch is a particularly rich area for embroidery; this piece would have been made by a professional embroiderer for the Bansali community.

Physical description

Cream silk satin skirt embroidered in chain stitch with red and blue rosettes in silk thread and mirror work, and border design of flowers, leaves and birds.

Place of Origin

Kutch (made)


ca.1880 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk satin; silk thread embroidery, mirror pieces


Width: 86.5 cm, Length: 201 cm width = waist to hem

Object history note

This was bought for the Museum in India in 1882 by Caspar Purdon Clarke for £ 1.20 (£ 1. 4s).

Descriptive line

Woman's skirt. Kutch, Gujarat, ca. 1880.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p.92, cat. no. 83
Indian embroidery / Rosemary Crill ; photography by Richard Davis. London: V&A Publications, 1999 Number: 185177310X, 1851772944 (pbk.)


Satin; Mirror; Silk



Subjects depicted

Flowers; Birds


Textiles; Women's clothes


South & South East Asia Collection

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