Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 122

Textile

ca. 1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This length of block-printed cotton was intended to be cut and tailored into garments such as coats and trousers, probably for members of the court at Jaipur, Rajasthan. The town of Sanganer, where this piece was made, was (and still is) renowned as a centre for high-quality block-printed cotton cloth which was established to serve the needs of the nearby Jaipur court.

Materials & Making
Printing with carved wooden blocks is one of the most widespread techniques of textile decoration in India, but is particularly associated with Rajasthan (where this piece was made) and neighbouring Gujarat. The blocks have to be made of extremely hard wood, usually teak, to endure years of repeated use. The most highly esteemed blocks are traditionally those made in Pethapur in Gujarat. The dyes used for the design are indigo (blue) and madder (red), with green made by combining indigo with a yellow dye, probably turmeric.

Design & Designing
This type of orderly design of offset rows of floral motifs has its origins in the Mughal court designs of the 17th century, but has continued to be popular ever since. When pieces like this one were shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851, several British critics were impressed by this type of 'flat' decoration, which they saw as preferable to the heavy, over-naturalistic designs of contemporary Victorian Britain.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Block-printed cotton
Brief Description
Block print textile, cotton, printed, Sanganer, ca. 1850
Dimensions
  • Length: 72.2cm
  • Width: 51.6cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 29/01/2001 by TexCons. Conserved dimensions.
Object history
Purchased from the Great Exhibition of 1851
Summary
Object Type
This length of block-printed cotton was intended to be cut and tailored into garments such as coats and trousers, probably for members of the court at Jaipur, Rajasthan. The town of Sanganer, where this piece was made, was (and still is) renowned as a centre for high-quality block-printed cotton cloth which was established to serve the needs of the nearby Jaipur court.

Materials & Making
Printing with carved wooden blocks is one of the most widespread techniques of textile decoration in India, but is particularly associated with Rajasthan (where this piece was made) and neighbouring Gujarat. The blocks have to be made of extremely hard wood, usually teak, to endure years of repeated use. The most highly esteemed blocks are traditionally those made in Pethapur in Gujarat. The dyes used for the design are indigo (blue) and madder (red), with green made by combining indigo with a yellow dye, probably turmeric.

Design & Designing
This type of orderly design of offset rows of floral motifs has its origins in the Mughal court designs of the 17th century, but has continued to be popular ever since. When pieces like this one were shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851, several British critics were impressed by this type of 'flat' decoration, which they saw as preferable to the heavy, over-naturalistic designs of contemporary Victorian Britain.
Collection
Accession Number
823A-1852

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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