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In Filoforme - Abstract ENG

FILO FORME anno 3 n. 8



This issue of Filoforme is again dedicated to Eastern textiles. Both articles presented are representative of the vast Asian reality, a complex world that is full of surprises for westerners.
The first article, by Elisa Gagliardi Mangilli, documents a private collection in Udine consisting of Indian textiles dating from the late Mughal period. The textile fragments originate in Ahmedabad, the capital of the Gujarat state, and site of the Calico Museum, India’s most important textile museum, as well as one of the most well-known textile museums in Asia. The pieces presented in the article were expressly chosen to give an over-all view of this rare and valuable collection that centres around delicate floral motifs evocative of refined Oriental courts.
Fabiana Gorassini’s article deal with a more distant world. For the most part this world is not well-known to us, except for an exhibition which took place some time ago, and, unfortunately was passed over by the general public. Here, we enter into a world brimming in fascination, where clothing has a symbolism and use filled with mysterious meaning; a meaning immediately perceived and legible to the local populace; an exciting and marvelous discovery for us. Mongolia is not simply an appendage to China, but a region where the vast, boundless Asian steppes and their uniformity of colour are rediscovered in these splendid garments. The presentation of some fine examples from Mongolia renders justice to a misunderstood art.
We are grateful to these two scholars for their balanced and intelligent contributions, opening a panorama onto distant lands; a near and far Orient that ever since antiquity has been an intrinsic part of our own history of textiles.

Giovanni Curatola


A Floral Symphony: Mughal textiles in a private Italian collection
Elisa Gagliardi Mangilli (page 3)

Two small albums, part of a private collection in Udine, house one hundred and thirty textile fragments from the city of Ahmedabad, the capital of the northern Indian state of Gujarat. Most of the fragments are in silk and they all date from between the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, height of the Mughal period that ran from 1526 to 1858. Almost all of the pieces in this valuable collection are fragments from fabrics used in men’s clothing. Among these fabrics there are forty-three pieces with floral motifs and thirty pieces that are striped. Also of note, are the fabric fragments that are painted or printed on cotton, wool or linen, and that were enormously popular in Europe because of their colourful hues that could also be washed in water.


Traditional clothing from the Republic of Mongolia
Fabiana Gorassini (page 11)

The traditional clothing of the Mongolian people is rich in artistic history going back centuries. The garments they wear conform to the environmental conditions and the needs of daily life: horseback riding, sitting inside the yurte (typical tent-house made of felt), and dancing at the local festivals. The Mongolian climate is a determinant factor in the type of clothing that has evolved. During the summer a light-weight garment called the törlök is worn; in the autumn and the periods of the first frost, padded garments, khovontei dööl, or lambskin, khourgen dotortoi dööl, are used; while in the winter a heavy garment in sheep’s skin, the tsagoan nökhi dööl dööl, is worn. In general the fabrics in cotton, silk, brocade, velvet, through their motifs and colours, differentiate the diverse ethnic groups. This article illustrates a few examples of Mongolian clothing, and by means of their colours, embroidery and styling, provides a small sampling of the richness of this population’s clothing.

In vetrina