Long Cloth

1680-1760 (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This section of a long cloth (‘piece-good’) was made in Gujarat, western India, for the Indonesian market. This floral design was very popular in the later 17th century. It appears, for example, in a Japanese screen painting dated to around 1600. Indian textile workers created it using a combination of hand-painting and hand-printing with wooden blocks carved with the pattern in relief.

The cloth was collected in the Toraja area of central Sulawesi. It carries a VOC stamp, which are the initials of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie).

'Piece-good' is the name used in European trading company records to describe a long length of cloth with a series of self-contained designs. These long lengths were then cut up, probably at the point of sale. There are records of uncut lengths of this type of cloth being used as banners and hangings on festive occasions.

This floral design was a very popular in the later 17th century and appears, for example, in a Japanese screen painting dated to around 1600. Indian textile workers created it using a combination of hand-painting and hand-printing with wooden blocks carved with the pattern in relief.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cotton, block-printed, mordant-dyed and painted
Brief Description
Section of a long cloth, collected in the Toraja area of central Sulawesi, with a VOC stamp. Gujarat, for the Indonesian market; radiocardon-dated 1680-1760. Cotton, block-printed mordant-dyed and painted; weft 90cm.
Physical Description
White floral pattern on red ground, cotton, block-printed, mordant-dyed and painted
Dimensions
  • Width: 90cm
Marks and Inscriptions
VOC (Retailer's identification; Dutch; Roman; on reverse; stamping; ink; 1680-1760)
Credit line
Purchased with Art Fund support
Object history
collected in the Toraja area of central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Production
Collected in the Toraja area of central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Subjects depicted
Summary
This section of a long cloth (‘piece-good’) was made in Gujarat, western India, for the Indonesian market. This floral design was very popular in the later 17th century. It appears, for example, in a Japanese screen painting dated to around 1600. Indian textile workers created it using a combination of hand-painting and hand-printing with wooden blocks carved with the pattern in relief.



The cloth was collected in the Toraja area of central Sulawesi. It carries a VOC stamp, which are the initials of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie).



'Piece-good' is the name used in European trading company records to describe a long length of cloth with a series of self-contained designs. These long lengths were then cut up, probably at the point of sale. There are records of uncut lengths of this type of cloth being used as banners and hangings on festive occasions.



This floral design was a very popular in the later 17th century and appears, for example, in a Japanese screen painting dated to around 1600. Indian textile workers created it using a combination of hand-painting and hand-printing with wooden blocks carved with the pattern in relief.
Bibliographic Reference
J. Guy Woven Cargoes Indian Textiles in the East, London 1998, plates 128, 129
Collection
Accession Number
IS.100-1993

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record createdMay 2, 2000
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