Strange & interesting bits and pieces have been used as textile embellishments.\nIn the decade of collecting textiles, I find that non-textile embellishments are most common in South Asian Hilltribes and in the Gypsy tribals of the Indian subcontinent.\n\n1. FUNCTIONALITY\n\nThe reasons for adding embellishments vary.\n1a. Value Addition\nFor obvious reasons, thread using precious metal content such as gold and silver are often found in silk textiles used by Royals, Noblemen and wealthy traders from Indonesia, Malaysia & parts of India. The addition of gold thread is a declaration of grandeur and high position in society.\n\n1b. Distinguishing an Individual\nGrooms of the Lambani tribe are made to wear a textile adornment embellished with lead and other materials to distinguish him from the other males in the groom\u2019s party at the wedding. Others of the marriage party wear textile embroideries but the piece that marks the groom is heavily adorned with metal and other bits.\n\nLead & Cotton Decoration to be hung from the groom\u2019s waist.\nThis is an example that comes to mind immediately but I am sure other examples can be found.\n1c. Symbolism\nWhile several embellishments are used simply to add beauty & make the piece attractive, others are used fro their cultural symbolism.\nCowrie shells: Prosperity & Fertility\nCoins: Prosperity\nCloves: Health\nWhile the reasons for their inclusion in the crafting of the textile vary, the result of their inclusion is the same: they make the textile artwork unique & more beautiful.\nPresenting below a visual journey that offers a glimpse into the various embellishments that were common to regional traditional textiles in Asia.\n2. RANGE OF MATERIALS\n\n2a. Precious Metal Strip\n\nIn this Tatibin Ship Cloth the metal strips have been taken out \u2026 but a few bits can still be seen.\n\nSumatra, Indonesia\n\n\n\n2b. Three-Dimensional Padding.\nUnique Padded embroidery creating a 3-d effect on wool tie-dye Ludhis. These pieces are about 2 cm tall.\n\nVagadia Rabari Tribal, Gujarat.\n\n2c. Mirrors\n\nMostly in Western India but also seen sometimes in textiles of the North West Frontier Province\n\nKutch Tribe, Gujarat\n\n2d. Cowrie Shells\n\nNaga Tribe, India\n\n\n\nAhir community / Rabari Tribe, Gujarat\n\n2e. Buttons\n\nPwo Karen tribe, Northern Thailand\n\n\u00a0\n2f. Tin embellishments\n\n\nYao Hilltribe baby\u2019s cap\n\n\u00a0\n\nYao Hilltribe Breastcloth with Tin embellishments\n\n\u00a0\n2g. Gold & Silver Thread\n\nBanarasi Sari with Silver thread\n\n\u00a0\n2h. Job\u2019s Tear Seeds\n\nKaren Textile with Job\u2019s Tear Seeds\n\n\u00a0\n\n\nAKha tribe, Northern Thailand\n\n2i. Glass & Plastic Beads\n\nIban Beaded Bridal Skirt Set\n\n\nIban Headband, Sarawak\n\n\nBatak Ulos Shoulder Cloth\n\n2j. Cow Dung\nUsed as a base for painting on canvas, cow dung is used extensively in the villages of India as a basic plaster for home floors & walls. Although this is not strictly an embellishment, it is unusual and deserves a place in this note.\n\nWarli Tribal Textile\n\n2k. Beetle Elytra\nOf all the beautiful things used to embellish textiles, none is as strange or perhaps as attractive as the elytra (wings) of Beetles. Valued for their iridescence, the wings are sewn onto hilltribe textiles from Northern Thailand\u00a0 & used to bejewel royal textiles in India.\n\nMughal Turban Cloth (National Museum Delhi)\n\n\nScreenshot of an article on Hali.com. Click for the original article from Hali.com featuring this muslin cloth from the V&A collection\n\n\n\n2l. Cloves, Gems and more\n\n\u2013 Cloves are woven into beaded textile adornments or home items. Their original purpose apparently was to ensure the good health of the home and ward off evil.\n\u2013 Kundan or gem studded textiles are seen in traditional Indian textiles in antique royal and not-surprisingly contemporary traditional textiles made for the wealthy!\n(Pictures to follow sometime soon \u2013 once I get back home to my archives of photos)\nAnd finally, going a whole yard further in embellishments is the Naga textile Art that may be seen here. \n\n***\nThere is so much to be enjoyed & explored in the art & craft of textiles that I doubt that I will ever feel satiated or bored with this category!\njm\nSept 2014\nALL TEXTILES SHOWN ABOVE (UNLESS OTHERWISE MENTIONED) ARE A PART OF MY COLLECTION AND MAY BE VIEWED AT WOVENSOULS.COM\n\n\nBy Jaina Mishra\nBy wovensouls\nThe post Embellishments in Traditional Asian Textiles appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.