Daily and general garments and textiles
This is a specially designed tailcoat with gold work embroidery worn by the USA artist, Michael Jackson (1958-2009) during his 'Bad' concert tour of 1987-1988. The tailcoat in question is heavily embellished with gold thread embroidery in the form of stylised foliage motifs. The raised areas were created with card templates and then covered with various forms of purl and pearl-purl threads.
In medieval Europe, a special form of armour was being worn, called either a jack or a jack of plate. It was the medieval equivalent of a bullet-proof vest. A jack of plate takes the form of a doublet with a series of small iron plates sewn (quilted) between layers of canvas and sometimes felt. This type of armour may weigh about 7.5 kg.
The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin houses a bast fibre tunic from among the Ainu in Hokkaido, Japan. It dates to the second half of the nineteenth century, or earlier, and was acquired by Max August Scipio von Brandt (1835-1920). The fabric is made of the bast of the Atsui tree. The tunic measures 123 x 115.6 cm. The embroidery is worked with cotton.
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin online catalogue (retrieved 4 December 2016).
A bertha is a collar made of lace or another thin fabric. It is generally flat and round, covering the low neckline of a dress, and accentuating a woman's shoulders. It was particularly popular in the nineteenth century, but bertha-like garments were also worn in the seventeenth century and are still being worn, as for instance with bridal dresses.
The collection of the Textile Research Centre (TRC), Leiden, includes an early twentieth century's woman's blouse (locally called a pirahan) from Iran that is decorated with badla work and applied beads. The blouse measures 54 x 30 cm; the sleeves are 32 cm long. This type of blouse is sometimes associated with Jewish brides. Badla work is called in Irab khus-duzi.
The Nederlands Openluchtmuseum in Arnhem, houses an embroidered bodice from Zeeland, in the southwest of the country. Locally called a beuk, and more nationally called a kraplap, this type of garment consists of two panels sewn together along one side with an opening in the centre for the head. The beuk is made of linen and embroidered in cross stitch with silk. Cotton is used for the sewing.
The British Museum in London houses an embroidered, woollen boy's coat (92 x 158 cm) that originates from Chitral in the extreme north of Pakistan and was acquired in 1987. Coat is made of strips of densely woven and fulled wool, embroidered with woollen thread using chain stitch. Embroidered patterns recall patterns on Kashmir rugs.
The Nederlands Openluchtmuseum in Arnhem, houses an embroidered bodice from the island of Marken, in the former Zuiderzee, now the IJsselmeer. Locally it is called a bruidsrijglijf. It is made of silk and embroidered with silk. The red band along the bottom is made of wool. Small bustle-style cushions were suspended from this band to broaden the apperance of the hips.
The so-called catte embroidery of Mary Queen of Scots is a slip in the form of a cross, decorated with an embroidered figure of a ginger cat that is wearing a crown and is playing with a mouse, on a checked floor. The catte embroidery is now in the Royal Collection, London. It was worked by Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587; her monogram of a combined MA can be seen to the left of the cat).
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, holds a late nineteenth century, densely decorated chapan (coat without front fastenings) from what is now Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The coat, measuring 144 x 98 cm, is made of plain weave cotton with silk thread embroidery, and lined with a silk (resist-dyed) ikat material.
The cheongsam is regarded as the ‘standard’ dress for Chinese women from the 1930's until the 1960's. During this time it was popular in China’s main cities such as Shanghai, as well as Hong Kong, Taiwan and among the Chinese diaspora throughout the world. They were often embroidered, either by hand or with a machine. There have also been attempts to make the cheongsam into the national dress of China.