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Collection Artifact Details

Blouse Front

Type: Clothing - Garment
Object Name: Blouse Front
Local Name: gaj
Place Made: Asia: South Asia, India, Northern India, Rajasthan
Period: Early to mid 20th century
Date: 1900 - 1940
Dimensions: L 68 cm x W 83 cm
Materials: Cotton; silk; glass mirror
Techniques: Embroidered; mirror work
ID Number: T04.24.14
Credit: From the Fitzgerald Collection

Many communities incorporate small pieces of mirror (shisha) in their embroidery. In Pakistan, groups in Sindh Province and some in Baluchistan use mirrored pieces for this purpose. In India, Gujarat State is famous for its shisha work; it is also found among the semi-nomadic Banjara in Karnataka State. To make the mirrors, large silvered-glass globes are hand-blown and then smashed. The resulting fragments are shaped into circles or triangles and sold for use in embroidery. Although the style and fabric of this blouse front suggest it is from a Muslim community in Kutch, it was made by a Hindu Meghwal woman living close to Muslim neighbours in Banni district, whose style of embroidery influenced her work.