Textile

About this object

Iconographic meaning

Mirror work and bright colours compensate for stark and arid desert conditions. Mirrors reflect pinpoints of light and give the effect of shimmering water.

Specific techniques

The very uniform lines of chain stitch embroidery may be arhi bharat, which is worked with an awl with thread from below.

Physical description

Unfinished, embroidered and mirrored rectangle. Centre panel is red cotton(?). Border is black cotton embroidered with multi-coloured cotton. Centre panel is embroidered with eleven semi-circular floral patterns with mirrored centers and many petals, two stylized peacocks, chevrons and tridents. Floral patterns are outlined with a double row of chain stitch. Panel is bordered by a row of closely spaced small mirrors which is banded on each side by two linear borders of chain stitch. Black textile border is cotton embroidered with closely spaced mirrored floral patterns which are outlined with two rows of white chain stitch, leaves and chevrons. Embroidered with chain, inter-lacing and buttonhole stitches. Lining is pieced together from four different pieces of yellow-white cotton. Embroidery passes through lining, edges are unfinished but are held by basting stitches.