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Textile Fragment with Floral Pattern


Not on view

This colorful fragment demonstrates a patterning method particular to Western Han textiles. The meandering designs were achieved in two steps: scrolls were first printed in black (likely using a stencil), and then flowers, buds, leaves, and dots were hand-colored in red, gray, and white. Judging from the size of the pattern unit, each complete fabric required thousands of impressions, and all this before the secondary application of color by hand. The intensity of labor and sophistication of design indicate that these textiles, like all the masterworks of embroidery from this tomb, were produced by official workshops.

Textile Fragment with Floral Pattern, Silk plain weave with stencil printing and hand coloring, China

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