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Malagasy Silk Shroud

Textiles from Madagascar are very rare and hard to come across, especially in great condition. Weaving, mostly silk weaving, is an integral part of the Malagasy culture. Bombyx (domestic silk worms)  were cultivated and harvested. The silk would then be washed, spun into thread and dyed using natural dyes from berries, bark, roots, and leaves. The threads are then woven together on a hand loom, typically in stripes with supplementary weft featuring intricate medallion like designs. This process is very labor intensive and requires a large group of men and women working together.

This shawl would be  unidentifiable as Malagasy if it wasn’t for the distinct fringe and small geometric motifs on the long edges. It is unusually wide panel that required an unusually large loom.Shawls like this would have been worn by both men and women but the white ground indicates that it would have been used as a shroud.

Circa: 1890's

Origin: Madagascar

Material: Silk

Condition: Very Good

Dimensions: 60"x82"

Inventory number: TX5061



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