This embroidery from India features a number of mirrors embroidered into the design. I don’t have much information on it – perhaps if you know something about it you could leave a comment? It’s another piece from Dr. Shirazi’s personal collection.
The central motif is a bullock or ox (depending on whether you’re speaking British or American English). Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism, but I have no idea how that relates to this piece. I don’t believe this is a religious embroidery.
Anyway, design-wise, blue and blue-green are good colors for outlining the central motif so as to draw the eye to the center – they contrast strongly with orange.
Here are some details of the border. I like the bright feeling from the mirrors and colors. Note how the main colors here are yellow, orange, blue-green, and blue – they form a whole section of the color wheel. White is a neutral accent color here, and along with the mirrors helps the design feel light even though the orange background isn’t pastel or pale in any way.
Here is the back – very neatly done.
This is one of a special series of posts based on the embroidery collection of Dr. Faegheh Shirazi, from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research is on “textiles, dress, gender identity discourse, and material culture in the Middle East; the meanings of veiling; rituals and rites of passage as they relate to material culture.” Over the years she has collected a number of examples of embroidery from around the world, and has very kindly allowed me to photograph them for my blog.