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Dress fabric

Dress fabric

  • Place of origin:

    Hyderabad (India) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1855 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton net with embroidery, gold-wrapped thread or gold wire, with applied strips of metal and pieces of beetle-wing

  • Museum number:

    4411(IS)

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Dress fabrics embroidered with pieces of beetles' wing-cases, often cut into leaf shapes, were popular with Western women (those based in India and in Europe) from the mid-19th to early 20th century. The iridescent pieces of beetle-wing gave a lustre and sparkle to evening dresses that emulated applied gemstones. The pieces of beetle-wing were attached by piercing them with a needle and sewing them directly onto the ground fabric, in this case black net, but often fine cotton muslin. Because of their extreme fragility, they were usually used only around the edges of garments (hems, necks and sleeves) to minimise crushing.

Physical description

Cotton net dress piece with embroidery and gold-wrapped thread or gold wire, with applied strips of metal and pieces of beetle-wing.

Place of Origin

Hyderabad (India) (made)

Date

ca. 1855 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Cotton net with embroidery, gold-wrapped thread or gold wire, with applied strips of metal and pieces of beetle-wing

Dimensions

Length: 78 cm, Width: 136.5 cm

Descriptive line

Embroidered cotton dress fabric, Hyderabad, ca.1855.

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

Indian embroidery / Rosemary Crill ; photography by Richard Davis. London: V&A Publications, 1999 Number: 185177310X, 1851772944 (pbk.)

Materials

Cotton; Gold thread; Beetle-wing

Techniques

Embroidering

Categories

Textiles

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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