South Asia

South Asia

In the 1890's a group of three male embroiderers was photographed in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, in modern Jammu and Kashmir. They are decorating floor coverings. The large covering in the centre is called a namdah and is being embroidered with an ari hook and a chain stitch.

A photograph taken by the firm of Bourne and Shepherd shows two cloth and embroidery sellers, in the early 1870's in India. It is described as a carte-de-visite portrait.

A drawing now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, shows a man winding gold thread onto a spindle. The drawing was made in Amritsar around 1870 by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), father of the novelist Rudyard Kipling.

A photograph of an embroiderer behind his frame from Delhi, India, and dated to c. 1863, was taken by Shepherd and Robinson. The photograph is included as illustration no. 188 in volume IV of John Forbes Watson's (co-editor with John William Kaye) The People of India (1868-1875), with the caption 'Scarfmaker'.

A photograph of three Indian gold embroiderers working at their frame is held in the British Library, India  Office Select Materials (Photo 1000/52(4914). The photograph probably dates to c. 1873. The photographer may be Shivashanker Narayen. The two men are working on a piece of a garment; the man to the left works on a long, narrow band, probably to be sewn onto a garment.

'Lady from Amritsar' is a late nineteenth century oil painting depicting a lady wearing very elaborate, embroidered garments. The painting is said to have been worked in 1880 by the English artist, Horace van Ruith (1839-1923), although there are some questions about this attribution.

A drawing now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, shows a Muslim man in Lucknow, northern India, standing next to a rectangular embroidery frame, with designs for caps outlined on the cloth. The drawing was made around 1870 by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), father of the novelist Rudyard Kipling.

A gouache on mica painting now in the Victoria and Albert Museum shows a male embroiderer of scabbard cases, from Varanasi (Benares), in North India, around 1870. The painting is one of forty paintings of contemporary life in the Indian subcontinent. It measures 18 x 13 cm.

A drawing now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, shows a group of embroiderers and piecers, around 1870, working on the production of Kashmir shawls. The drawing was made in Amritsar by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), father of the novelist Rudyard Kipling.

A drawing (36.7 x 26.3 cm) now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, shows six men working at an embroidery frame. The drawing was made in Delhi in November 1870 by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), father of the novelist Rudyard Kipling. They are working together on a jewelled cloth. The drawing also shows scissors, a spoon and thread.

The British Library houses a photograph of three embroiderers from Jammu and Kashmir in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent. The photograph was taken in the 1890's. The craftsmen are embroidering tablecloths, bed-spreads or other types of coverings, using a needle, rather than an ari hook. The designs include fruit, flowers, or other forms, including geometric patterns.

A drawing (35.6 x 25.7 cm) now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, shows three men working at an embroidery frame. The drawing was made in Delhi in November 1870 by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), father of the novelist Rudyard Kipling. They ard working a gold thread embroidery, using scissors, spoon, needle and thread. 

Photograph of three Toda women from the Nilgiri Hills in southern India. The photograph was taken in the early 1870's and is publsihed as Plate IV of James Wilkinson Breeks, An Account of the Primitive Tribes and Monuments of the Nilgiris (India Museum, London, 1873). They are traditionally known for their jewellery and garments, including shawls and cloaks that are decorated with black and red embroidery.

A drawing (36.9 x 26.3 cm) now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, shows two boys sitting on either side of an embroidery frame, used for decorating caps and slippers. The drawing was made in Delhi in November 1870 by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), father of the novelist Rudyard Kipling.

Photograph of two embroidery salesmen (?) in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The photograph was made in 1891. The text on the photograph says "embroiderers", but this may be wrong.

A drawing (35.6 x 25.7 cm) now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, shows two men working at an embroidery frame. The drawing was made in Delhi in November 1870 by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), father of the novelist Rudyard Kipling. Gold thread (?) is being used to outline a floral pattern. The young man in the front is holding a spool wound with metal thread. A pair of scissors can be seen in a corner of the cloth.

A drawing (35.7 x 26.4 cm) now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, shows a woman reeling silk thread for embroidery. The drawing was made in Delhi around 1870 by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), father of the novelist Rudyard Kipling.