Home > Antiques/Antiquities, Asian Art, Museums/Galleries, News/Events, Textiles > Textiles make the world go round!

Textiles make the world go round!


 Must see exhibit
Metropolitan Museum September 16, 2013 to January 5, 2014

If you have ever wondered about the origin of the inexpensive and colorful tree of life  block printed Indian cotton  bedcovers – go to this Metropolitan Museum exhibit and learn all about the international textile trade shaped for centuries by the cultures of China, India, Europe, the Middle East  and  South America. The Silk Road already saw expensive fabrics sent to wealthy Roman patrons  but this exhibit  focuses on the time after international traders searched for a sea route further south after Constantinople  was captured by the  Ottomans Turks, —  and  along the way the merchants  found textiles. It is rare that an entire exhibit filling several galleries is devoted to textiles. The Portuguese,  the Dutch, the British, often sponsored and financed by their  trading companies  crisscrossed the globe and spread designs,  colors and fabrics across the world. Craftsmen and artists  influenced and copied each other.  I have always been very partial to the  palambore fabric, lush in design and  colors,  with exotic plant and  flowers, perhaps first designed in England but made into something distinctly Indian.

If you want to read about textiles made for trade and export, you will enjoy:

WOVEN CARGOES  INDIAN TEXTILES IN THE EAST, by John Guy,Thames and Hudson, 1998. John Guy is a Curator in the Indian and South-East Asian Department at the V & A, London. The book describes the trade in Indian textiles to Southeast Asia and the Far East. There is a wonderful photo on page  168 of a Japanese Kosode (undergarment) kimono made from an Indian palambore fabric with flowering tree design from the eighteenth century.


And textile lovers should never forget the  TEXTILES ASIA JOURNAL,  BONNIE CORWIN, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR.



Elisabeth and Natasha
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