Palampore

CULTURE:
Indian
DATE:
c. 1750
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General Description

The word "palampore" is derived from the Persian and Hindi "palangposh," or bedcover. Typically one is composed of a single chintz panel hemmed around the edges. This example, featuring a central palm tree rather than the more usual tree of life motif, is an exception both in design and quality. Producing chintz fabrics by traditional methods requires many steps in dyeing and printing. Although these techniques had been well established for many years in India, it was in the seventeenth century that chintz, either painted or printed on cotton, began to be exported to many other parts of the world as trade goods. "Palampores" are first mentioned in the records of the English East India Company in 1614 and were first recorded in colonial American inventories soon after 1700. Because cotton was considered a luxury fabric and because Indian "palampores" were so widely exported, these bedcovers influenced many other textile traditions. In the eighteenth century English textile manufacturers adapted their design to machine -printed fabrics and produced a virtual craze for chintz among Anglo-American consumers. Some handmade textiles were also influenced by "palampores." A bed rug in the museum's collection [1992.11], for example, derives its scrolled floral borders and central tree of life motif from this source. "Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection," page 58