Long Shawl

Long Shawl

1785-1800

2/2 twill tapestry weave, double interlocked; wool

Overall: 325 x 104.1 cm (127 15/16 x 41 in.)

Gift of Arlene C. Cooper 2008.215

Description

Artistic styles evolved with increasingly elaborate mosaic-like decoration during the 1800s to meet an insatiable European demand. These three shawls illustrate the changing fashions. Early shawls had plain fields with isolated plants in the end panels, which led to decorated side borders and vases of blossoming stems, as seen in the apricot shawl. In the vibrant yellow shawl, such flora was replaced by colorful, dense blossoms forming cone-shaped botehs, or paisleys, on trays. To this was added a gallery of small botehs and angular floral vines around a rich blue field with single botehs in the corners. A more elaborate gallery and larger botehs in the end panels decorate the later shawl on the right.

Lightweight, supple, warm, and colorful, Kashmir shawls had no equal. Fine, soft goat-hair wool was woven in a 2/2 twill tapestry weave—the equivalent of painting with colored weft threads. Imitations woven in Paisley, Scotland, prompted the popular
term paisley.

See also
Collection: 
Textiles
Department: 
Textiles
Type of artwork: 
Textile

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