Textile Fragment

Not on view

Dated to around the sixteenth century, this textile fragment would have once been part of a larger piece. It is decorated with a central vegetal motif of blossoming with red-speckled petals that is surrounded by a branch with blue and red leaves. The fragment’s intricate design reveals the object’s method of production which is akin to the technique of painting.

The vibrant red color of the textile, seen on the borders, comes from the organic dye material of the chay root plant indicating that it was likely made near the region of the Coromandel Coast located in Southeast India. Found near the site of Fustat, Egypt, this fragment highlights the maritime relationship of trade and a highly popularized market demand for cotton textiles produced in South Asia that spanned across areas linked by the Red Sea and larger Indian Ocean.

Textile Fragment, Cotton, plain weave; block-printed and painted, mordant and resist dyed

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