Monday, 1 November 2010

Module 2 chapter 5 part 1

The focus for this chapter is the decorative features Indian stitched textiles.

I was very lucky while on holiday in Kent to find this wonderful exhibition in Playden, just outside Rye.


As I wasn't permitted to take photos due to the fact that all the exhibits belonged to private individuals I was forced to sketch the fine details I needed, which was great.

In the following image you can see the original sketch, done on the day and then the coloured version, worked up later.


The person who was organising the event very kindly sent me some pictures after I got home and it was very interesting to see how closely I had interpreted what I'd seen on the day.


I was quite pleased with this one. The only down side to this exhibition was that as all the pieces belonged to different individuals there was little information as to their origin. The only information on this was that it was possibly Mochi work and by it's size was a wrapping cloth.

The next study was also of a long rectangular cloth and worked with interesting linear and diaper patterns and shisha mirrors, like the previous one. Reading descriptions in Sheila Pain's book, Embroidered Textiles, I would guess it could be from the Punjab and perhaps is a Phulkari cloth made to be draped around the body and over the head.




It's interesting to see the original design markings where the thread has deteriorated. I haven't yet managed to work out how to work the 'crossover' stitch on the looped turquoise design.


In the above image you can see my first attempts at capturing as much information as I could, because I thought I only had about an hour, so as you can see the sketches are a bit frantic. Sketch 2 (L to R) is from a gold work hat, which sadly wasn't in the photos that I was sent, but was worked with lots if spirals that finished with a little hole in the centre.

Sketches 1,3,4 are from a long narrow piece that ended in a triangular point. We wondered if it was an animal ornament, but sadly there was no clue as to its usage. But again, looking at the information in Shiela Paine's book I think it could be embroidery from Pakistan, due to the repetitive patterns of circles and triangles, plus the use shisa mirrors.


It was certainly a lovely experience to sketch from these beautiful textiles in the church setting, especially to the accompaniment of the organ practice. I was also very fortunate that my husband was happy to chill out for the afternoon giving me an extra couple of hours study.


  1. These drawings are lovely - you were lucky to see the textiles in close up!

  2. Nice sketching Sharon. These Indian textiles are so rich and interesting to study. (I hope your poor DH didn't catch a cold!)

  3. Wonderful colours in these pieces and your sketches are excellent. Could those mystery crossover stitches actually be just that? The lower part of the stitch extending diagonally across the design width, with the upper part of the stitch crossing over it. It would only work with a thick soft thread which seems to have been used.