Fragment of Palampore
This stunning 18th century Palampore fragment shows most likely the bottom right panel of the Tree of Life with water, fish, turtles, birds, floral designs, and geometric patterning.
Palampore, the most renowned Indian export textiles from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are painted and dyed cottons. Falling under the broader classification of chintz, the production of these textiles showed how Indian craftsman were able to interpret the needs of a more diverse clientele. This extremely laborious technique would often take months to complete, yet allowed for subtle shading, saturated hues, and precise delineations that have become their hallmarks.
Made using the Kalamkari technique with hand painted details, an artist would create designs on the fabric with a pen containing mordant and then dip the textile in dye. Mordant is a substance that is used to set dyes on fabrics by forming a coordination complex with the dye, which then attaches to the fabric. Unlike in the batik technique where the color is applied where the wax is not present, with mordant, the dye would remain only in the area where it had been applied. This process was repeated for each color in the design and more precise details were then painted by hand after the dying process was complete.
Their decoration, most commonly a central tree with fruits and birds, combined patterns from English embroideries, Chinese decorative objects, and Indian textiles. In Europe, they were used as bed covers and were also hung on the walls of bedrooms while in Southeast Asia, they were used during religious ceremonies.
Circa: 18th Century
Condition: Fragmentary condition
Dimensions: 22" x 16"
Inventory number: TX4699
This stunning fragment of an 18th century Palampore shows the bottom right corner of the Tree of Life with water, fish, turtles, birds, floral designs, and geometric patterning.