Fabric of India

Ergh. Monday. My first Monday back at work since before Christmas. It was a reallllly long day but I was given a large box of chocolates so there’s that.This week is another muddled one as I will have 2 days off midweek for a family thing so by the time Saturday comes I won’t know what I’m doing! Trying to get back into the swing of normal life is so hard at this time of the year.

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Ari embroidered silk

This weekend my mum and I visited the Fabric of India exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The V &A are currently holding an India season and this was the major exhibition. The exhibition explores how different Indian textiles were historically made and dyed as well as how these textiles were used, traded and even treated as sacred items, from the 3rd century right up to the present day.

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Hand painted tent owned by the 18th-century Indian ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan.

We spent nearly 2 hours is this fascinating exhibition, learning about how these beautiful textiles were created, who was making them (did you know that it was predominantly men who wove fabrics and embroidered intricate designs for sale, whereas women would create textiles for the home) the cultural significance of certain pieces, right down to how sunshine can affect just how blue indigo dye is! I came away from the exhibition really in awe of the centuries of talent on display and also completely inspired to have a go at some of the dying techniques myself!

I’ve included a video that is in the exhibition showing how ari embroidery is done using the same techniques from hundreds of years ago – watch to see just how fast they make each minute stitch! In absolute awe. Cross stitch will never be the same again…

I did want to write about my favourite pieces but there were soooo many stunningly beautiful pieces! Instead I’m going to show you guys some pictures of what is on offer (all from my Google image search or embedded from Getty images as photography was not permitted in the exhibition). The exhibition is only on until 10th January so if you can get to London before Sunday I highly recommend this beautiful exhibition. I’ve included the link at the top of the page to the exhibition and more resources and pictures which I highly recommend checking out because some are just stunning. Ticket price info can also be found here. If you do get a chance to visit before it closes please let me know in the comments what you thought

Embroidered carpet belonging to Emporor Shah Jehan, circa 1630-40:
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Embroidered city map (it’s huge and the pictures just don’t do it justice):
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Wall hangings


Printed sample book, 1869




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