Hanging

ca. 1700 (made)
Hanging thumbnail 1
Hanging thumbnail 2
+27
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Fine chain stitch embroidery of this type was made by professional male embroiderers of the Mochi community in Gujarat in western India. It was worked with both a hook, called an ari, and a needle. Originally developed for embroidering on leather, for items such as belts, floor-coverings and shoes, the ari-work was adapted for use on cloth, and soon attracted the attention of western travellers to Gujarat. The East India Company exported these embroideries from the port of Cambay (modern Khambat), and they were known as 'Cambay embroideries'.
This piece is an early example of the type, and was used at Ashburnham House in Sussex, along with chintz hangings of very similar design. The deep blue is produced by indigo dyeing, and the pink of the flowers by the use of lac, a dye secreted by the insect Kerria lacca kerr.
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read Indian embroidery Our collection of Indian textiles ranges from rare courtly pieces to archaeological fragments, to everyday garments and fabrics, dating from the 14th century to the present day. Embroidery remains one of India's most recognisable and most prized textile traditions. Discover eight of the mo...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Embroidered cotton with silk yarn
Brief Description
Wall hanging of embroidered cotton with silks, Gujarat, ca. 1700.
Physical Description
Wall hanging of embroidered cotton with silk yarn in chain stitch. Cream cotton ground with silk chain stitch embroidery pattern of blue leaves, red-and-yellow flowers and multi-coloured birds and animals. Made of two panels stitched together vertically. Possibly also for a bed, but traces of nail holes at the sides suggest it was used as a wall-hanging at some stage.
Dimensions
  • Whole length: 199cm
  • Whole width: 178cm
Gallery Label
  • HANGING Cotton embroidered with silk thread Gujarat, Western India c. 1700 IS.155-1953 This panel was part of a set of chintz and embroidered bed- and wall-hangings formerly in Ashburnham House in Sussex. The embroideries copy the designs of the chintzes in simplified form. The intense colours of the silk embroidery thread were produced by repeated dyeing with indigo (blue) and the insect dye lac for red.(27/9/2013)
  • GUJARATI EMBROIDERY Gujaratis 'embroider the best of any people in India, and perhaps in the world', said one 18th-century English scholar. Gujarati embroidery was in huge demand in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Men from Gujarat embroidered this hanging in chainstitch, using both a hook (ari) and needle. The cloth has nail-holes along its edges, suggesting that it was attached to a bed or wall-panel. Cotton, embroidered with silk Gujarat, 1680-1700 V&A: IS.155-1953(03/10/2015-10/01/2016)
Object history
Part of a set of hangings from Ashburnham House, Sussex.
Production
Embroidery made in Gujurat for the English Market
Subjects depicted
Summary
Fine chain stitch embroidery of this type was made by professional male embroiderers of the Mochi community in Gujarat in western India. It was worked with both a hook, called an ari, and a needle. Originally developed for embroidering on leather, for items such as belts, floor-coverings and shoes, the ari-work was adapted for use on cloth, and soon attracted the attention of western travellers to Gujarat. The East India Company exported these embroideries from the port of Cambay (modern Khambat), and they were known as 'Cambay embroideries'.

This piece is an early example of the type, and was used at Ashburnham House in Sussex, along with chintz hangings of very similar design. The deep blue is produced by indigo dyeing, and the pink of the flowers by the use of lac, a dye secreted by the insect Kerria lacca kerr.
Bibliographic References
  • Indian embroidery / Rosemary Crill ; photography by Richard Davis. London: V&A Publications, 1999 Number: 185177310X, 1851772944 (pbk.)p. 23, cat. no. 1
  • Irwin, John. Commercial Embroidery of Gujarat in the Seventeen Century. Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, Vol XVII, 1949. 51-56p Plate IX
  • Crill, Rosemary, Arts of Asia, vol. 45, no. 5, September - October 2015, "The Fabric of India" Exhibition, p.70, pl. 9.
Collection
Accession Number
IS.155-1953

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record createdJuly 16, 2001
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