Sari thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Sari

1900-1950 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This detail shows the long edge of a sari, perhaps the best known item of dress from Asia. Many women who live in the Indian subcontinent, or who have their roots there, continue to wear this draped garment and it is subject to frequent fashion changes and regional variations. This sari is an example of cross-cultural interchange. It was made in China for the Parsi community, today a much-dispersed group of people originating in present-day Iran. They settled first in Gujarat where they retained their distinctive culture and set of beliefs although Parsi women adopted the sari there. The black ground of this piece, together with the use of Chinese embroidery, are elements that distinguish it specifically as a Parsi sari. Silk gauze, as here, was a favoured material and purple as well as black, was a commonly occurring colour. In many case, the edging on these Parsi pieces is applied separately, yards of satin ribbon being embroidered by Chinese artisans for this express purpose. Here however, the edging is embroidered straight onto the sari silk.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk embroidered with silks
Brief Description
Sari of embroidered silk, China, 1900-1950
Physical Description
Women's sari of black silk gauze embroidered with white, magneta and yellow silk threads in satin and stem stitches.



The centre is covered with rows of floral rosettes and border, which runs down the two long sides, contains a densely worked design of birds and flowers.



The piece has been cut from a length of fabric, the two cut ends are hemmed and the two long edges have also been turned in and hemmed.
Dimensions
  • Length: 45.25in
  • Width: 214.75in
Credit line
Given by Sir Harold E. Satow
Production
made for the Indian Parsi community
Summary
This detail shows the long edge of a sari, perhaps the best known item of dress from Asia. Many women who live in the Indian subcontinent, or who have their roots there, continue to wear this draped garment and it is subject to frequent fashion changes and regional variations. This sari is an example of cross-cultural interchange. It was made in China for the Parsi community, today a much-dispersed group of people originating in present-day Iran. They settled first in Gujarat where they retained their distinctive culture and set of beliefs although Parsi women adopted the sari there. The black ground of this piece, together with the use of Chinese embroidery, are elements that distinguish it specifically as a Parsi sari. Silk gauze, as here, was a favoured material and purple as well as black, was a commonly occurring colour. In many case, the edging on these Parsi pieces is applied separately, yards of satin ribbon being embroidered by Chinese artisans for this express purpose. Here however, the edging is embroidered straight onto the sari silk.
Collection
Accession Number
T.24-1967

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record createdJune 25, 2009
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