Pieced tapestry woven shawl, Kashmir

Made 1850-1870

Shawl, tapestry woven, embroidered and pieced, wool, Kashmir, 1850-1870

A finely made woman’s square shawl of patchwork construction with a small plain black centre. The body of the shawl is composed of separately woven curving sections in jewel colours, in the double interlock tapestry technique (kani) characteristic of Kashmiri shawls. The nearly-invisible embroidered joins between the pieces follow the swirling lines of the boteh and vase forms (also characteristic) of the design. Around all...

Summary

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Shawl, tapestry woven, embroidered and pieced, wool, Kashmir, 1850-1870

A finely made woman's square shawl of patchwork construction with a small plain black centre. The body of the shawl is composed of separately woven curving sections in jewel colours, in the double interlock tapestry technique (kani) characteristic of Kashmiri shawls. The nearly-invisible embroidered joins between the pieces follow the swirling lines of the boteh and vase forms (also characteristic) of the design. Around all four sides is a deep border of rows of small red, green, black, amber, green and white squares stitched together and elaborately embroidered. The shawl has a self fringe on all four sides. Made in Kashmir, probably around 1865 (Christina Sumner 11.7.96).

Dimensions

2140 mm
2140 mm

Production

Shawl designed by Montaz Allaie (written in Persian script at one edge).

Woven and embroidered wool shawl from Kashmir, in the "patchwork" pattern. Shawls of this type are comprised of several sections that had been woven on different looms, and then handsewn together by the rafugar, or shawl tailor. In the early nineteenth century when demand was high and designs had become increasingly elaborate, a new practise of dividing up the work amongst several looms was implemented in order to speed up production. The resulting pieces were sometimes referred to as "patchwork shawls".

Traditionally, women spun the yarn whilst the weaving was done by men, who began learning their trade from about the age of ten. Despite the high levels of skills involved and the large prices such shawls commanded, Kashmiri weavers were extremely poor and often suffered appalling working conditions.

Predominantly red and black with polychrome work, the border is embroidered which is quite usual for this type of shawl. The swirling boteh design which surrounds the central medallion draws on the motif most popularly associated with the Kashmir shawl. Also known as 'paisley', 'pine cone' and 'mango', the boteh (or 'buta' in Hindi-Urdu meaning flower) evolved from its early depiction of a flowering plant during the Mughal period, gradually taking on a more abstracted form of foliage and flowers compacted in a long oval shape. By the mid-eighteenth century, the distinctive top curved hook had started to emerge, becoming more pronounced by the middle of the nineteenth century when a very stylised, curvilinear boteh appeared, owing little obvious debt to its original, representational form.
1850-1870

Source

Gift of The Australian Costume And Textile Society, 1986
1 January, 1970

Cite this Object

Pieced tapestry woven shawl, Kashmir 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 June 2017, <https://ma.as/46645>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/46645 |title=Pieced tapestry woven shawl, Kashmir |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 June 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
Full description  
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