Today, many of the branded tech products we use are designed in one place, headquartered in another and produced in a third. Today we live in the global village and this idea of \u2018nothing\u2019s completely local\u2019 is commonplace. But imagine going back 200 years or more \u2013 when even a letter took days if not weeks to reach a city that was just 100 km away! In that era, we had a global textile \u2013 the Manila Manton.\nTheir lives covered 3 regions: China, Philippines & Spain. Produced \u00a0in Canton, they were named after the trading port Manila and finally used and coveted by women in Spain (and later other Spanish colonies) a few centuries ago.\nIn light of the excitement around fringed shawls from the Berkeley exhibition, I\u2019m sharing some that I love.\nThere are various types of antique Manila Mantons \u2013 floral, figurative, light, heavy etc and different styles were preferred in different locations or periods.\nThe ones that attract me are the ones that tell the stories of their Cantonese Makers. The illustrations add a cultural layer to the palimpsest and make it interesting.\nHere are some visuals that explain my love:\nClick to view slideshow.\n\u00a0\nClick to view slideshow.\n\u00a0\nClick to view slideshow.\nClick to view slideshow.\nSome with extremely dense work:\nClick to view slideshow.\nA shawl with warriors\nClick to view slideshow.\nShawls with legends of little princes:\nClick to view slideshow.\nAnd finally one with ivory faces\n\nThe culture and the art are very soul satisfying.\nBut the most amazing part of these textiles is that the embroidery is double-sided! \u00a0Unless one examines the piece very very minutely it is often difficult to tell the front from the back of the textile.\nHow was this double sided embroidery done? No knots in the embroidery? How does the thread stay in place if there is no knot? These complexities make the craft within the textile as powerful as the cultural story contained within it.\nThe art attracts the eyes, the cultural story attracts the soul and the craft attracts the mind.\nIn Sanskrit we\u2019d call this \u201cSarvaguna Sampann\u201d a \u00a0term used to describe one that has alllll the positive qualities one seeks! [used most commonly for prospective grooms & brides]\nThis amazing type of work is similar to the Parsi / Zoroastrian jhablas and Gaza sprees.\nEnjoy more photos of each of the pieces (some available for acquisition) on woven souls.com linked here.\u00a0\n\u00a0\njm\nApril 2018\n\u00a0\nThe post Manila Manton Shawls \u2013 Early Global Textiles appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.