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Core Record

Object Name towel
Date mid 20th century
Brief Physical Description Rectangular cloth about the size of a tea towel with a central honeycomb pattern bordered at both ends by formalised carnations embroidered in red thread on a natural ground.
Object Description Information A small, rectangular, natural linen cloth with central design of repeated honeycomb links each with a diamond of grouped cross-stitches on two sides of the linked pattern. At both ends of the rectangle is a wide border of formalised carnations ending at the extreme edge with a narrower border of alternately inverted urns of flowers. The embroidery is counted thread cross-stitch in red silk on a natural coloured linen.
Accession Number 4360
Subject embroidery, domestic textiles, towel, tablecloth, tray cloth, cloth, cross stitch, turkish towel
Measurements 740mm x 460mm
Number Of Items 1
Materials Used (aat) linen, silk
Content And Subject Information This embroidery is similar in content to a ‘Turkish towel' but is different in format. The red decoration at the centre is unusual in relation to the general distribution of pattern in the traditional Turkish towel.

Motifs used, honeycomb, carnation and urns of flowers are all symbols of fertility in Turkish embroidery. The red colouring is also symbolic of fertility. It is possible that this little towel was embroidered to play some part in a wedding.
Production Information Embroidered by women in a domestic situation. The ground fabric and embroidery thread have been commercially produced and purchased, it is also possible that the design has been copied from a drafted, printed design. The counted thread cross-stitch is superb but the motifs do not have the irregularities that occur in other Turkish towels.
Rights Goldsmiths, University of London. Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles
Style Period traditional embroidery, folk embroidery
Techniques Used (aat) cross stitch



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