Fragment of a Floorspread

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 464

On this fragment from what was once a magnificent floorspread, later cut and hemmed for a different purpose, stately rows of poppies line the central field. Like several Mughal-period pile carpets, the main motif changes direction in some areas; here, alternate poppy plants appear upside down in the top row. The spread was made through the laborious dyeing process known as kalamkari; remarkably, the usually fugitive green is very well preserved. In this process, green was achieved by painting a yellow dye over areas already tinted with indigo, but the yellow often faded, leaving only the undercoat of blue on historic kalamkaris.

Fragment of a Floorspread, Cotton; plain weave, mordant-painted and dyed, resist-dyed

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