Afghani Velvet Dress
Though highly esteemed by the ruling classes of the central Asia oasis towns, metal thread embroidery, unlike silk, was never forbidden to the common people and thus practiced in rural areas.
Loose long sleeved tunic dress of a Hazara woman. Part of the shalwar kameez ensemble with trousers worn underneath. Aubergine velvet with metal thread embroidery in shades of gold. The technique is couching (dival isi) where cotton stitches hold down the metallic threads so they don’t have to go through the ground, as metallic threads are not very flexible. The composition has parallel plant forms that occur along the back, sleeves, and cuffs of the dress. The front of the dress has two vase shapes in a stylized plant motif.
Circa: Early 20th century
Material: Silk velvet and metal thread
Condition: Good antique condition
Dimensions: 45" X 56"
Inventory number: WR3904