Issue #009, 2022 ISSN: 2581- 9410
The Central Asian region is home to the Indo Aryans, branches being the Iranian and Indian civilizations. Intercultural linkages between these with Chinese traditions of silk weaving and embroidery have given rise to some of the finest material culture of humankind. The geographical routes and historical details of this craft form has led to the complex roots of what we call “Parsi embroidery”, an amalgamation of Iranian, Chinese, Indian and European traditions.
Sericulture originated in China and silk played a vital role in the evolution of embroidery. The traditional account of the discovery of Silk is attributed to a fourteen year old concubine His-ling-lo-tsu. Legend states that she was drinking tea under a mulberry tree when a cocoon accidentally fell inside the cup and while retrieving the worm, she literally unwound the secret of silk. This secret remained jealously guarded till another Chinese princess married a Zoroastrian prince of Khotan. She smuggled silk worm eggs and mulberry plants in her head dress, not wanting to ever be deprived of the beautiful material. This is how silk entered the Persian empire. Many centuries later Marco Polo reported on “a thriving silk industry and Safavaid weaves, twill, satin, lampas, brocade and velvet.” Marco Polo describes the embroidery of Kirman women, “in silk of all colours with beast and birds and many other figures” as “a delight to the eye.”
Embroidery has always been a vital ...
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