Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Photograph of an embroiderer in Delhi taken by Shepherd and Robertson in c.1863. This image of a man seated cross-legged at his embroidery frame is reproduced as illustration no.188 in volume IV of John Forbes Watson's 'The People of India' (1869), where it is captioned 'Scarfmaker'. The accompanying text states, "Delhi scarves are famous, and there are few to whom they are not known. They are of cashmere cloth, or of net, embroidered with silks of various colours, and in all imaginable designs...The outline is traced carefully on the material to be embroidered, which is stretched upon a frame supported by trestles, as seen in the photograph. The worker is seated on the ground beside it, and fills in the pattern with floss silk by means of wooden needles, like those used in the embroidery of cashmere shawls.

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