GWU Textile Museum: Chinese Embroideries

I wrote previously about Textiles Imitating Textiles with reference to pieces in the exhibition China: Through the Lens of John Thomson at the National Textile Museum in Washington DC. Here are some more of the incredible pieces on display there for another fortnight.

The detail above is from the back of the sleeve cuff of this blue beauty:

P1200381 P1200376

P1200384And for those who love braid or interlacing curves:
P1200373 one for the band-weaversP1200394

This rank badge was full of the texture and details of the natural world:P1200202

Version 3

Careful observation revealed auspicious symbols familiar to me from the Buddhist Himalaya:Version 2

The natural world was also celebrated on the edges of this tunic:
P1200195 to give idea of scale of 192Version 2P1200191 also show close-upVersion 2P1200192

Version 2Version 3

Look closely and you see a tiny carrot!
Version 4

This exhibition really is an embroiderer’s paradise.P1200239

P1200422 P1200416

I did find something to satisfy the weaver in me. This medallion has details painted over a tapestry woven background.P1200399

The weaving was so fine that I hadn’t noticed the changes of weft colour at first, and presumed it was all painted.P1200407

But then I noticed the edges of the deep blue:P1200404

And that the gold sparkle came from a change of yarn. There is even a change to a more yellow shade of cream in one area, but why does that change follow the lay of the weft at it’s bottom edge, and the painted curved line at the top?P1200406Delightful textural effects were to be found on & near this vase:
P1200357P1200360This tray was depicted with a superb eye for detail.
Version 2

No only the edge decoration has been depicted, but also the lining of the base of the tray and the patterning on objects in the green vessel.P1200351 (1)My love of arabesques drew me to this collar,

and there I found this elegant creature and her friends amongst the foliage:P1200348

I’ll leave you with a few purses on an astoundingly small scale…
P1200262 P1200257 P1200254



The exhibition at the National Textile Museum at George Washington University, Washington DC continues for another fortnight, and the gallery guide can be viewed here.

GWU China gallery guide cover

Embroideries illustrating itajime fabrics can be found at Textiles Imitating Textiles.

2 thoughts on “GWU Textile Museum: Chinese Embroideries

  1. Pingback: Textiles imitating textiles: Chinese embroidery | Textile Trails

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