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 Post subject: Gujarati Saddle Covers
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:07 pm
Posts: 2
Hello everybody I'm new here and just wondering if anyone might have any info on these horse saddle covers.
I found them in Delhi and was told they were from the "Kutch" region in Gujarat, India.
There is some nice embroidery and leather work. In addition there are some silk and velvet pieces as well. The seller mentioned the name of the purple/red silk with white stripes, but I don't remember what it is called, so if anyone knows, please remind me. Most of the yellow and red triangles are cut and sewn pieces of wool. The backs appear to be hand woven and naturally dyed cotton.
The small oblong mouth-like areas on two of the covers are seemingly for the front "pommel" of a horse saddle and the other opening for the rear crest of a saddle.
I have been assured that these pieces are not camel covers or saddles.
Two of the saddle covers appear to have been used where as the third, with green velvet, even though it has some wear, does not. Perhaps a dowry piece?
I'm curious mainly about the age, (I was told between 80-150 years, but am skeptical), purpose (ceremonial?), uniqueness, and any other information one might have.
I'm also going to add a photo of a Rajasthani horse saddle cover that I did not buy.
Thanks ,
Gulgar


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mail_HB1_Front.jpg
mail_HB1_Front.jpg [ 62.33 KiB | Viewed 6371 times ]
mail_HB2_Front.jpg
mail_HB2_Front.jpg [ 53.82 KiB | Viewed 6371 times ]
File comment: Detail including silk in question
mail_HB2_Front_Detail_1.jpg
mail_HB2_Front_Detail_1.jpg [ 56.8 KiB | Viewed 6371 times ]
mail_HB3_Front.jpg
mail_HB3_Front.jpg [ 59.18 KiB | Viewed 6371 times ]
File comment: Back of green velvet cover with leather
mail_HB3_Back.jpg
mail_HB3_Back.jpg [ 57.84 KiB | Viewed 6371 times ]
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 Post subject: Rajasthani saddle cover
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:07 pm
Posts: 2
This is the closest example to the Gujarati saddle covers I could find.
There were about 8 pieces, this being in the best condition.
The others were absolutely destroyed.
The yellow fabric seemed to be hand woven and naturally dyed coarse cotton. Decorations were cut leather with small copper grommets.
Again I was assured these were for horses and not camels.
Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Gulgar


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hi Gulgar-
Thank you for posting such interesting textiles. While I don't know anything about them, per se, I can tell you the name of the dark red and white striped fabric: it's called 'mashru' in India and is woven there, as well as in the Near East. Woven with silk warps and cotton wefts, it is a warp-faced satin, and the outward side is silk, while the back is cotton. Supposedly this is to conform to (and get around) religious, and maybe sumptuary, laws about the wearing of silk: as long it is not next to the body, it's interpreted as OK. In the literature this is associated with Islamic law and "mashru" is said to mean "permitted" in Arabic. They are also called "misru", which means "mixed" in Sanskrit. Maybe some of our members have textiles made of this fabric?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Earlier this week I attended a study day on 'Ikat Textiles' at the V&A (Victoria & Albert) Museum in London. One of the study leaders was Rosemary Crill, Senior Curator, Asian Department of the V&A whose special area of expertise is India. She has written several books on the Indian textiles (as a search of Amazon will show). The V&A has a particularly rich collection of textiles from the sub-continent.

I took the opportunity to ask Rosemary if I could direct her attention to this thread and duly emailed her on my return home. She kindly responded as follows:

Quote:
thanks for sending these images. I've never seen anything exactly like them, but I agree that they seem to be Gujarati. The pink striped fabric is indeed mashru, almost certainly made in Gujarat, which doesn't have to be ikat-patterned.

I imagine they would go under the saddle, so I don't know if 'saddle-cover' would be quite the right term. I think 'saddle-cloth' might be better.


During our study day we raced through exampls of ikat textiles of the Indian sub-continent and when we went into our textile study sessions Rosemary showed us two examples of 'mashru'. I am posting my photos of the two textiles here and folded them back so that you can see the cotton backing as well as the silk face to the textile. Silk warp, cotton weft and the weaving is warp-faced. I also asked Rosemary in my email if mashru was only ikat or whether it could be plain thread which was why she mentioned this point in her response.


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File comment: ikat mashru fabric in the collection of the V&A Museum, London
mashru01.jpg
mashru01.jpg [ 61.08 KiB | Viewed 6171 times ]
File comment: ikat mashru fabric in the collection of the V&A Museum, London
mashru02.jpg
mashru02.jpg [ 61.92 KiB | Viewed 6171 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Not major information but, having been reminded that Rosemary Crill has considerable expertise re India and having had my appetite for Indian textiles whetted last week, I have managed to hunt up some books written by Rosemary. I was interested to see in her 'Indian Ikat Textiles' published by the V&A in 1998 that there was quite a lot about Mashru. There was even a photo from the V&A collection (Page 137) of a
Quote:
"Saddle cloth with ikat mashru lining (detail). North India, 19th century. As well as being used for garments ikat mashru was very popular as a lining for hangings, floor-covers and saddle-cloths. The outside of the piece is gold-embroidered velvet."

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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