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Gold embroiderers

Gold embroiderers

Photographer: Narayen, Shivashanker

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1873

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/52(4914)

Item number: 4914

Length: 19

Width: 24.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of gold embroiderers in India, taken by Shivashanker Narayen in c. 1873, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. This image of embroiderers seated at sewing frames was probably an exhibition photograph. These craftsmen are working with thread which has been mixed with gold wire made from gold leaf and then melted onto silver bars and forced through small holes in a steel plate to form very fine gauge wires. The thread is used to embroider a wide range of garments; shawls, scarves, sari and turban borders, shoes, purses, tablecloths and many other items. It was held that metal threads from India were less likely to tarnish than similar products from other sources.

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