Skirt

ca.1880 (made)
Skirt thumbnail 1
Skirt thumbnail 2
+1
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk satin; silk thread embroidery, mirror pieces
Brief Description
Woman's skirt. Kutch, Gujarat, ca. 1880.
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.
Dimensions
  • Width: 86.5cm
  • Width = waist to hem length: 201cm
Object history
This was bought for the Museum in India in 1882 by Caspar Purdon Clarke for £ 1.20 (£ 1. 4s).
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
Indian embroidery / Rosemary Crill ; photography by Richard Davis. London: V&A Publications, 1999 Number: 185177310X, 1851772944 (pbk.)p.92, cat. no. 83
Collection
Accession Number
IS.2304-1883

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record createdAugust 1, 2008
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