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Late 19th Century Indian Gold Silk Brocade Shawl


Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf
Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf






Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf
Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf






Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf
Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf






Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf
Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf




Indian Gold Silk Brocade Scarf







Late 19th Century Gold Silk Inlay Brocade Indian Shawl
The design of this colorful silk brocade shawl is a combination loom-controlled and hand-picked in or inlay brocade. At first glance, one would think that the weft colors would have been woven from selvage to selvage then trimmed in the back like a jacquard-woven paisley shawl. However, given the sparsely-placed floral designs on the white silk field and the dense gold thread patterning, one realizes there would be much waste of precious silk and gold threads. Upon closer examination of the back with a loop, one sees that the threads of all the design elements loop back into the design along the borders in back, meaning that the weaver had to hand inlay each individual thread color separatetly in each design area. This is no small task, considering the fineness of the thread, and must have taken the weaver months to produce. This shawl was made to match a sari and was worn draped over the shoulders, called a 'mundanai' or 'mundu'. This would have been a very expensive ensemble reserved for a very wealthy family, given the large amount of gold thread and weave structure. The dense gold thread used in the border and design gives the shawl a wonderful 'hand' and weight, giving it a lovely drape and weight when worn over the shoulder. The design is also reminiscent of the earlier 16th Century Mughal or Moghul sashes that were worn by princes and were a symbol of status and wealth. This two-piece style of sari with the shawl was worn more in the 19th Centruy, under British rule, where modesty was a concern. This very time-consuming weaving technique was abandoned by the end of the 19th Century for more time-saving production methods.
This shawl measures 22 3/4 inches wide by 72 inches long.

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