Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


In Detail

[Wool embroidered with wool thread, circa 1855, Srinagar, Kashmir. Images via Indian Embroidery by Rosemary Crill.]  

I can really get lost in this Kashmiri embroidery.

In fact, I wish I could see more photographs of it, enlarged and projected against a massive classroom wall. First it seems to be all about the color -- the plums and blues sprinkled with greens and rusty-golds. But then you notice a tiny universe of animals, people and stylized foliage (the paisley or buta). Details so intricate, actually, that Rosemary Crill says they would've been "exceedingly complicated to weave on a loom."

Embroidered Kashmir shawls and tablecovers were introduced in the early 19th century as a less expensive alternative to the fine woven-pattern versions. Interestingly, though, this shift created new jobs for needleworkers, adds Crill. In the past, needleworkers mended Kashmir textiles but otherwise were uninvolved in production. The change in manufacturing gave them a chance to do seriously complicated designs like the Map shawl presented to Queen Victoria (see a different embroidered map of Srinagar here).


Anonymous said...


Lori said...

Stunning! I love the figures and the colors.

Krista said...

Oh. my. god. Gorgeous!