The deep blue cotton spreads are embroidered with crimson, blue, grey, yellow, brown, and white silken threads. In both the cloths, the dark blue ground has circular medallions at the centre surrounded with intricate embroidery. The borders are profusely worked and have elongated cones/quiris (paisley motifs) and floral designs, with floral and mihrab (arched window) designs along the edges.
As compared to woven design, embroidery offered more freedom to the craftsman in embellishing plain woven fabric. Such embroidery was usually worked on plain alwan woollen cloth, creating embroidered shawls. The term amlikar was applied to shawls that were embroidered rather than having designs woven into them.
Being of finely woven cotton, these are not shawls but may have been used as bedcovers. They are lined with thick cloth and are quilted.
Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection.
Textiles and Costumes of India
Cotton embroidered with silk thread
19th Century CE
304 x 156 cm