19 October 2015

The Fabric of India

By the time I arrived at the V&A it was 6.30pm and I was flagging a little.

1 VAM1

So after admiring another chandelier in the entrance hall I walked up and through the glass gallery to the members room where I sank, with utter gratefulness, into a soft, squishy sofa and drank a lovely cup of coffee. 
I may also have indulged in a GF brownie.
It’s possible I had 40 winks. 

2 VAM Chandelier

The Fabric of India exhibition was WONDERFUL!  

I wanted to bring it all home with me.
A mixture of woven, printed and embroidered work, much of it from the 1851 Great Exhibition. 
The woven work was some of the most intricate I’ve ever seen.
My only criticism was that some of the embroidered work was on display at the back of a cabinet, where you could see the overall effect, but it was difficult to look at individual stitches.
Not always, but enough to be a frustrated embroiderer.

 When I was there on Friday evening it was quiet and a lovely time to visit.
I spent a long time walking around and made lots of wonky sketches. 
Mainly of small details.

2 Fof India book 4

No photographs allowed of course but there is a book to buy which is worth the money if Indian fabrics are your thing.

1 Fof India book 1

The book and exhibition take you through the early stages of fabric manufacture - the cotton and silk types, the dyes, the making processes.
Then there are examples of wonderful items; shawls, dresses, jackets, caps, saris, head cloths and tents.

The Tipu Sultans tent was a favourite.
I sat inside for a while and pretended it was mine. 

3 Fof India book 3

The Kashmir map shawl.
A stunning amount of embroidery.
Very inspiring. 

4 Fof India book 2

The exhibition also tells the story of the export of fabrics from India to the West and modern day Indian fabrics and designs.

6 VAm reflections 2

After the exhibition it was dark outside and there were lovely reflections that I tried to capture

8 VAM reflections 1

The sculpture gallery was empty.
I love visiting at night.
You feel very special and there are no school children.
Bonus. 

7 VAM sculpture

I also visited the Shoes, Pleasure & Pain exhibition.
It was full of Friday night Fashionista types.
I was too tired to take much in so I picked out the historical examples to study.
And the gothic versions.
A few pairs of shoes to envy too. 

9 VAM shop

The shop of a thousand wonderful things.
A shawl and hare necklace came home with me.

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2 comments:

  1. It's a great place to visit and looks really special at night. Thanks for taking us!

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  2. Some times I wish I didn't live on the other side of the world but it is so nice when people like you give me a small tour. Thank you.

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