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  • Place of origin:

    Delhi (made)

  • Date:

    c. 1867 (made)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Stamping patterns onto cloth was a traditional decorative technique in northern India and Iran. It was done with heated metal clamps, and was often applied to cotton or silk garments to give a lattice pattern to the material. This would be re-done after washing. The same technique was applied to fabrics woven with metal threads, and the resulting patterned fabric of silver or gold was used in several types of northen Indian garment, usually used in linings or edgings as here. This elaborate pattern of flowers within a diamond shape is derived from a seventeenth-century Mughal design, which would have been used as decoration on architecture and metalwork as well as textiles.

Physical description

Headcover, base of yellow muslin with applique embellishment. Borders, bands, butas, and central circle in field applied in red cotton, overlaid with silver and silk ribbon (gota) in floral and lattice designs, finished with cut pieces of beetle-wing cases. Silver strip fringe at two ends.

Place of Origin

Delhi (made)


c. 1867 (made)


Length: 311 cm approx, Width: 166 cm approx.

Object history note

1869 Register Entry: Scarf. Muslin. Yellow, ornamented with stripes & palm border in silver. Modern Indian (Delhi) L.10 ft. 1 in. W. 5 ft. 6 in. (Paris Exhibition 1867) / Date of receipt from Stores: February 11th 1868 / From whom received: The India Office / Date of Minute for purchase: 14th August & 13th Sept. 1867 / Price: £10.0.0 / Registration No. 803-69'

Descriptive line

Headcover, yellow muslin with applied cottons, silver ribbon, and beetle-wings, Delhi, c.1867; Textiles; Clothing; Women's Clothes

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

p. 76, p. 89, pl. 15 (detail).
Ashmore, Sonia. "Muslin", London, V&A Publishing, 2012.
pp.142-3 and p. 183 ill.
Dress in detail from around the world / Rosemary Crill, Jennifer Wearden and Verity Wilson ; with contributions from Anna Jackson and Charlotte Horlyck ; photographs by Richard Davis, drawings by Leonie Davis. London: V&A Publications, 2002 Number: 1851773770 (hbk), 1851773789 (pbk)


Cotton; Metal-strip; Silk thread; Beetle-wings


Applied work


Clothing; Textiles; Women's clothes


South & South East Asia Collection

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