Man's robe, Hausa, Nigeria
Cotton, woven in strips, embroidered with silk thread
Some of the circles were removed then re-attached with needlelace technique. The little brown dots are seed stitch.
About 90 inches across, 50-60" high.
Palak cloth. Suzani
The solid red circles are embroidered with such fine couching, that they look woven.
Silk and wool embroidery on plain cotton ground.
About 1860. From Bokhara, Uzzbekistan
The circles are cosmological symbols (moon, sun)
About 100 inches across, 90" down.
Yaktak, Man's coat in Ikat silk weave
A lined robe that is not padded
Phulkari Wedding Shawl, Pakistan
Red cotton completely covered with silk floss embroidery
The cloth is stitched in horizontal and vertical directions to take advantage of the reflective quality of the floss. These shawls are given to the bride by the groom's grandmother.
about 50" wide, 80" high.
I made ball point sketches of these amazing large embroideries during my visit to the Textile Museum of Canada yesterday. Sketching helps me to really look at the pieces, and I didn't have my camera with me anyway. All of these images are lifted from the museum's amazing online collection. Being up close to these awesome hand stitched fabrics is very nourishing. The power inherent in them stays with me for months. Hunter's Coat, Mali West Africa, 1960-1970, cotton, cowrie shell, skin, tooth, claw, mirrors.
I also sketched this coat during my visit as well. The leather packets sewn to the coat in grid formations are thought to contain little pieces of paper with prayers written on them. There are round mirrors on the front of the coat, and square mirrors on the back. The cords that are all over were knotted, spit upon and given an incantation. All of these talismans were for protection for the wearer. The coat was worn before the hunt in a ceremony, not during.