Textile Fragment

Not on view

Dated to either the thirteenth or fourteenth century, this plain-woven, block-printed, cotton textile fragment was once part of a much larger piece. This fragment exhibits the unique characteristics of technique and decoration associated with textile production in Western India, in the province of Gujarat, during the Middle Ages. The fragment’s elegant designs are printed through the use a single block which form intricate intertwining tendrils and floral designs on a dark blue monochrome background. The decorative program and motifs are stylistically connected to those found in Jain architecture and painted manuscripts which were produced in Gujarat. The vibrancy of the blue dye points to Western India, which at the time was a popular production center for richly dyed and block-printed textiles. Throughout the centuries, there was an international demand for such fabrics.

Found near the site of Fustat, Egypt, these textiles have been preserved largely due to the arid and dry climate of the region. This fragment serves as evidence of the Red Sea maritime trade and travel relations between both these areas and highlights their transregional and cross-cultural connections during medieval times.

Textile Fragment, Cotton, plain weave; block-printed, resist dyed.

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