Embroidered Wool Shawl Fragment
Jat wool cut fragment of shawl, possibly made for a wedding. The Jats are a conglomeration of peoples who live in parts of Pakistan and the northwestern part of India (Haryana, Gujarat, Kutch and Rajasthan). The Kutch Jats are known for their embroidery, which comes in a diversity of forms. One of the most well-known forms of Kutch Jat embroidery is characterized by its use of counted thread work using tiny cross stitches worked in geometric patterns, such as in this example on red wool. The women of the Garasia Jats, for example, heavily embroider the yokes of their long dresses. Traditionally, when one of their dresses is no longer used, it is hung on a tree and allowed to disintegrate. The elaborately embroidered yokes were considered sacred and are not generally sold, but also left to disintegrate. Shawls tend to be two panels sewn together so presumably this may be a quarter from an earlier piece which was discarded or cut up for sale.
Circa: late 19th century
Condition: Good, two patches on back and small amounts of repair stitches
Dimensions: 27" x 19"
Inventory number: TX4411