Eye candy!

No, not Shammi, or Shashi, or Vinod, or Dharmendra, or Rajesh, although it is Indian.

I recently acquired a beautiful handmade antique Kashmir shawl, with finely woven pieces sewn together and finished with hand-embroidered gates on all four sides. Indian textiles are just the bomb!

Made in the mid-nineteenth century, it is about six feet square—far too large to wear as a shawl these days, but perfect as a lap throw or bedspread for snuggling under; the wool and pashmina weave is very fine and soft. Mostly, I’ve just been staring at it. The pattern is so intricate that you can look at it for days and keep finding new colors and details.

Here’s a photo from further back, although I can still only fit less than a quarter of it in the frame (the closeups are more representative of the actual colors, too):

So beautiful! I love the contrast between the woven part and the embroidered edge:

Here’s an extreme closeup so you can see the piecework; it’s very difficult to see where the sewn pieces meet from even a short distance.

It reminds me of stained glass. When I’m living on that park bench (thank you, deregulating Republicans!) this shawl will come in handy.

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21 Comments to “Eye candy!”

  1. Wow, how lovely! It’s totally stained glass. I have to confess, when I saw the title of your post on my feed I thought it *would* have Shammi, though. LOL

  2. Well, I would love to snuggle under this WITH Shammi, if that helps :-)

  3. my mum is the expert (just picks up one and “knows”if it is any good) but this one looks lovely…

    when thinking about the park bench, think of all, allover the world who didn’t even have a chance to vote for the guy, who are also visualizing park benches in their old age…

  4. I think (hope) you mean vote AGAINST the guy, and please rest assured that I did my best to get rid of him! Sigh.

  5. it’s so gorgeous! but definitely snuggling with Shammi will make it more awesome :)

  6. Hah, I like the way you say “will make it more awesome” instead of “would make it more awesome.” Glad you have faith in my adoration of Shammi!

  7. Aww that is beautiful, Memsaab. :)

    I was hoping it’d be one of them mentioned in the first line though.

  8. I know, but we all need a little variety now and then.

  9. Ah, lovely! BTW, if you like Indian textiles, you’ve got to see the Textiles Gallery at the Crafts Museum in Delhi – awesome! One of my favourite exhibits there is a gorgeous pashmina shawl, about 10′ x 5′, every inch of which is embroidered in shades of pale pink, lavender, and a dozen other colours. It’s a jewel – and so is just about every other item on display.

  10. Truly gorgeous piece. Are you going to dare use it? I’d be like you, just staring, mostly.

  11. Madhu: I’ve seen the Textiles Gallery in the National Museum in Delhi, but have not heard of the Crafts Museum…an excuse to go back (not that I need one ;-). I almost had a heart attack at the Nat’l Museum, though, because there were workmen painting the ceiling in the Textiles room, and though they had covered the linoleum floor with tarps, the display cases and framed textiles had paint drips all over them. Aaaarghhhh.

    Banno: I am going to use it :-) Carefully!!! But staring at it and touching it have not become boring as of yet either.

  12. Where or who did you acquire it from?

  13. Paint drips all over the framed textiles? Aaargh is right!
    But yes, you really must see the Textiles Gallery at the Crafts Museum – actually the museum itself (all of it) is amazing – it includes part of a Gujarati Bohra Muslim haveli, all of it carved in wood. Just remembering it is giving me gooseflesh. The museum’s at Pragati Maidan – opposite Purana Qila. A must-see.

  14. Yes, I even have photographic evidence of the horror. My friends said I looked shell-shocked when they arrived. Truly it was traumatizing.

    I will def. make the Crafts Museum a priority next time I’m there. Thanks for the info! It sounds fabulous.

  15. Ditto the recommendation of the Crafts Museum – it was the first place I went when I arrived in India (and I visited a second time, too) :) Also the Textiles Museum in Ahmendabad, if you ever get over that way.

  16. Yes, the museum in Ahmedabad is on my list of places I must see too :-) Thanks! I really wallowed in textile heaven in the V & A in London too. They have a great India section…

  17. I think this classifies more as candy for the soul – I know my soul would be happy to the bottom of its depths to possess something like this!

  18. Actually, bollyviewer, you are bilkul correct. It does make me happy deep deep down!

  19. Oh How lovely! Where do you get these things? And How do you plan to use it?

    I relate to the happy-in-my-heart feeling some things give us…I have some pretty stuff that falls in that category – never worn/used, just seen.


  20. You must already know this, but when in delhi, I always spend days (at least 2) at the Dilli Haat near AIIMS- they have shawls from all over India- I bought 5 last time I was there – [blissful smile]

  21. Dear Memsaab!
    I know that you love the prints of the 70s.
    Saw something at:

    Go forward to 1:32

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