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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:54 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Northern California, USA
Does anybody know what we have here?
Is this a carpet..? a quilt..? or..?
Size is approx 6' x 6' plus two pillows (24"x24" and 12"x12")
which are made of the same textile.
The needlework is very busy. Lots going on!
A few little round mirrors (look inside the blue circles) and all kinds of colors!
Mostly a muted brownish palette, but some bits of bright pink
here and there. Lots of texture. Raised embriodery.

Picked up at an estate sale, the woman said it was a Turkish rug,
but that didn't match any of the Turkish rugs we googled.
There was a close match something from Uzbek (sp?).
But really we don't know much about textiles.

Anyways, any help from the experts would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Greg & Debbie


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Greg,

Welcome to the tribaltextiles.info/community forum!

I am not an expert on this type of textile but it is not a 'rug' in the sense of a woven carpet rug.

It has been stitched onto a background. I can't say if it is technically a 'quilt' with three layers of top, backing and inner layer just from the photos however it certainly has two layers - top and backing with the stitching linking the layers.

I would say that it is from the northern part of the Indian subcontinent - including the Pakistan and towards Afghanistan. A book to look out for is 'Colours of the Indus' Costume and Textiles of Pakistan' by Nasreen Askari and Rosemary Crill and published by the Victoria and Albert Museum to accompany an exhibition at the Museum in 1997 has examples of similar stitchery. I think this book is now out of print but there are copies around. If I get a chance to go through this and other references and can make a more positive identification I will post. I know that one or two other members have more detailed background in these textiles than I do and they may be able to assist.

Difficult to tell from the photos what the textile (plus pillows) was actually used for but it might well have been to sit on and they might orignally have been given as gifts in a dowry situation.

Best wishes,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hi Greg & Debbie-
Funny, life's coincidences... I just dug out a textile and put it up for display that may be similar to what you have. If you have an overall photo, it would be a great help, but I include mine here (at 41" x 70"), plus some details. All that said, I don't know what it is either! It is done like a quilt, of pieces, with a backing, but no filling. The pieces, in my case, appear to be remnants from old garments: dress fronts (see details), sleeve bands, collar bands, etc. I got mine in Saudi Arabia from a Pakistani rug merchant, so I assumed it was from Pakistan. At the time, in the local shops there were new versions of this kind of textile- pieced (but not with garments), full of mirrors and various stitching. Most people bought them for wall display or possibly to incorporate into a bedspread. I didn't realize that these could have been a traditional textile form until finding the smaller, older one I am showing. (apologies for the uneven coloring and perspective- I didn't compensate for the display lighting or angle)

They are busy, but I rather like the abstract pattern formed by the joints of the pieces, plus all the patterns and textures give it the feel of a modern painting on which the surface has been worked over.

Pamela- thanks for the reference cited- I'll look for it.


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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Cheam, UK
Further to Pamela's mention of the book "Colours of the Indus" above and Susan's additional example I would like to say a few more words on the possible origin of the mystery textile.
There is now a strong possibility that it originates with one of the Pakistani groups and in this context eveything seems to be pointing to the Sindh area in the South of Pakistan.This area is inhabited by many ethnic groups mostly nomadic desert tribes who have many similarities to those across the border in India. They create a variety of blouses, skirts, dowry cloths and ceremonial textiles which feature small round mirrors nestled in dense and complex stitchwork, the palette of colours being pleasing combinations of reds, reddish browns, oranges, pinky reds, yellow. Many examples are shown in the section on Sindh in the above book eg fig 15: detail of a skirt from the Lohana group which features this type of work also 17: a horse's head cover, and 16, a baby's cap, 22: details of men's wedding scarves or sashes, 25: a ceremonial cummerbund from the Thakur or Meghwar group, 32: a bridegroom's purse, pages 32-33: a number of women's blouses face masks etc, 51: girl's embriodered dress, poss Lohana group, 63: a dowry cloth poss Talhar. There are more examples illustrated.
This sample seems to suggest this type of work is applied to textiles which have a great variety of uses. The style extends into India but at the moment I can't say exactly how similar this work is to that on the Indian side.
I have no information on the textile arts of Afghanistan so am unable to say if anything similar occurs there.

On page 17 a style of folk embroidery termed "Pakkoh" is described as a:

Quote:
style of dense heavily worked embroidery that has been historically linked to the areas surronding Diplo and Mithi in central Tharparkar.......
Pakkoh consists of combinations of closely packed double-buttonhole, square-chain, couched, satin and stem stitches, with accents in interlacing and cretan stitches. Small mirrors are usually attached in a tight double-buttonhole stitch to provide focal points in the overall pattern. Originally pieces of naturally occuring mica were used but now mirrored glass is specially manufactued

In addition the text goes on to say that the name "pakkoh" means "solid" or "permanent" since when the silk has worn the stiches often remain intact


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:54 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Northern California, USA
Dear Pamela, Susan and Siriol:

Thank you so very much for your thoughtful responses.
We googled a bit in pursuit of the "pakkoh" lead and came across
a nice long article online which shared the same paragraph Siriol quoted.

Embroideries of Pakistan
http://www.craftrevival.org/SouthAsia/Pakistan/Crafts/Embroidery1.htm

We do not have that book (Colours of the Indus) in our local library,
but I'm sure we can find a copy! Thanks again. And by the way,
it sure was great fun to have received responses from the UK and Thailand!

All our best,

Greg and Debbie

P.S. I'd like to present a full-piece shot, but I have to find a
suitable high-wire first! Stay tuned...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Thanks for the thanks!

I think all of us would like to see a full piece shot so please keep looking for a suitable wire to hang it on. Unfortunately you don't see many old fashioned washing lines these days! I am a bit of a freak for these in places like Vietnam - you do get funny looks when you leap out to photograph washing hanging on the line! You either make friends or......!

Very best wishes,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject: Lao Song and Mirrors
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:52 am
Posts: 162
Location: California, USA
Just a small footnote to the use of inserting mirrors into textiles.

When I visited a Lao Song village in Nakon Pathom Province just east of Bangkok, I was surprised to see the use of mirrors in several traditional textiles. Their use and placement is very reminscent of the textiles I've seen from both India and Pakistan.

As far as I can tell, they are the only Tai group who use such ornamentation. Although there are strong thematic links between Tai and Indian textiles, these usually are found in courtly (excuse the pun) and ritual garments.

The Lao Song are interesting for a number of reasons. They moved into Central Thailand in historical times, in the early 19th century, from Laos. There they are still known as the Tai Dam (Black Tai), and where their largest population still remains. The Lao Song also use applique, and are known for weaving a garment with a severe black front, and an elaborate interior, which is only worn once, at the funeral of its weaver.

The Thai call the Lao Song "the trousered Lao".

Sandie


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