Board-dyed Gauze with Embroidered Floral Pattern

China National Silk Museum

China National Silk Museum

This piece of elegant-looking gauze is adorned with inconspicuous board-dyed lozenges and embroidered floral motifs arranged in vertical lines. In areas where the silk threads are gone on the embroidered pattern, dark blue lines can be found, which are believed to be traces of paintings that the embroider applied. The decorative highlight of this piece is the vertical belt on the right, which is covered with colorful, life-like flowering trees, phoenix and butterflies embroidered in satin stitches. Such ornamental motifs, originated in mid-and-late Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), are extremely rare on existent cultural relics, though some might still be seen on the murals of Dunhuang.
On this piece of gauze there are two patches also in the textile of gauze with hidden board-dyed lozenges. With the technique board-dyeing, fabrics are dyed after being fixed between two boards with symmetrical embossed patterns so that areas on the textile between two embossed blocks will remain unaffected by the pigments. By filling the other areas except the embossed ones with different dyes, colorful board-dyed patterns would be created.

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  • Title: Board-dyed Gauze with Embroidered Floral Pattern
  • Location: China
  • Location Created: China
  • Type: Textiles
  • Materials and techniques: Silk, Brocade
  • Dynasty: Tang dynasty
  • Dimensions: 45cm x 10cm