[Detail view, mid-19th century white muslin scarf with cotton embroidery made in Bangladesh. Collection of the V & A.]
Muslin is like the steel magnolia of the textile world: whisper light and ethereal in appearance but strong. Surprisingly strong.
[Another detail: mid-19th century embroidery on abba, Kermarn. V & A collection.]
In March I mentioned design historian Sonia Ashmore's upcoming book for the V & A, Muslin. From Bengal scarves to airy Keats-period dresses to ballet costumes, she draws upon 900 examples in the V & A's archives. Now the fall book season is just around the corner. If you'd like to try and purchase Ashmore's latest from a brick-and-mortar shop in the U.S., the publisher here is Abrams. You may also pre-order it through Abrams online.
[Circa 1800 muslin sash from Bangladesh. Learn more at the V & A.]