Handwoven and embroidered Indian Amli shawl
This beautiful textile is an example of an amli shawl, a technique where small woven pieces are hand sewn together and then further embellished with embroidery. Every step of the making process was labour intensive and required high skill levels meaning that amli shawls were highly prized luxury items. Unlike many other styles of shawl made in india during this period, amli shawls were mainly produced for the local Indian nobles and royal families instead of being exported commercially.
This shawl belonged to the Gawthorpe Textile Collection’s founder, Rachel Kay Shuttleworth’s mother Blanche, Lady Shuttleworth, who used it as a ‘rug’ or thrown on her sofa. Rachel recalls on the items’ label that the edge had worn about 2 inches since she first saw it as a child so it was obviously well used. It is possible that the shawl was either sent or brought back from India by one of Blanche’s brothers who was stationed in India during his military service.
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