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 A Private Collectors Unique Collection

Exquisitely Hand Embroidered Pure Silk Chinese Textiles (GARAS) & Yards of hand made Borders / trimmings / KORS of continuous designs for the Connoisseur.

China was the first country in the world to weave silk. Silkworms were domesticated as early as some 5,000 years ago. The production of silk threads and fabrics gave rise to the art of embroidery. The Qing Dynasty lasted from 1644-1911 A.D. The reigns of the first three emperors of this dynasty were a time of peace and prosperity for China. The royal family and aristocrats had everything covered with embroidery-even their rooms were decorated with so much embroidery that the walls could not be seen! Embroidery, a folk art with a long tradition, has an important position in the history of Chinese arts and crafts.

In its long development, embroidery has been inseparable from silkworm raising silk-reeling and weaving. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Embroidery reached its peak, with the prevalence of various styles and master embroiders. Embroidery formed its own unique characteristics: smooth, bright, neat and influenced by the geographical environment, customs and cultures. The works incorporated flowers, leaves, animals, mountains, rivers and human figures as their themes.

Altogether, there are 122 approaches in 12 categories for weaving. Floss silk, gold, silver and silk thread embroidery. Embroidery featured a strong folk flavor and its weaving techniques are characterized by the following: The product surface must be flat, the rim neat, the needle thin, the lines must be dense, the colors harmonious and bright, and the picture even. A technique, where the design and needlework began to closely resemble nature in all its glory was termed ‘Paintings by Needles’ Paintings, by masters, to patterns by designers, landscapes, flowers, like the Peony, birds, dragons, phoenix, pagodas and tiles, they all seemed and could be the topic of embroidery. The detail that was achieved with this style required the silk thread to be divided into 48 separate strands; this resulted in works of incredible detail and turned out to be the most prolific of the styles that followed in the future.

Embroidery experienced its heyday at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Processes & Techniques The participation of scholars-painters in the business had carried forward the innovation and development of embroidery techniques: In the treatment of color silk, thread was cut into finer bits, so that the lines might appear more soft and graceful; in stitching methods, there appeared various new approaches, such as arbitrary stitching, thread nailing, gold circling, mixing stitching, rolling stitching, and linking stitching. Over lapping stitching is mainly used, in which floss and thread overlapping without revealing any trace of stitching. Often three or four different kinds of thread either of the same color or of similar shade are applied to produce a hazy effect. The gold-nailing embroidery is one of its quality varieties, the process of which is using satin background knitted with golden thread or nailed with golden floss, gilded cobber and silvery threads covered with loose golden floss design so that it looks resplendent. Works made using gold-nailing technique.

The embroidered products used by the royal family, "random-stitch work" as the name implies, this style used stitches of different lengths and directions and seemingly random overlapping layers to achieve a better effect of tone and depth for the final work. The production of silk threads and fabrics gave rise to the art of embroidery. Embroidery formed its own unique characteristics: smooth, bright, neat and influenced by the geographical environment, customs and cultures originating from folklore. The works incorporated flowers, leaves, trailing vines, animals, mountains, rivers, pagodas, transportation of a rickshaw, bridges, mythical dragons, Phoenix, and human figures as their themes-Some embroidery literally had a story unfold.

About my heirloom collection--

This Heirloom Collection belonged to my dear grandmother and then later to my mother, both were connoisseurs and collectors of beautiful items of art from all over the world, paintings, carpets, Silverware,Carved furniture, Italian and French table wares. Crystal chandeliers, Decorative items, Venetian glassware, Russian and French jewelry and this incredible collection of Chinese Textiles is a part of the large collection. Most of this enormous heirloom was passed down to me as my Inheritance –
The reason I have put up this website is to find likeminded art lovers and connoisseurs who would like to own these treasures. It's time to pass them on, for them to be displayed for the world to admire:Or to drape the beautiful Gara to add to the beauty of that Special  lady!

These were custom made in the late 18th / early 19th Century of the Qing Dynasty as Traditional wedding apparel, Christies Auction House agents in the UK informed me of this. Even today, the community of Parsees who originally hailed from Iran (Persia) and migrated into India at the time of the Islamic persecution in Persia. The women of this community wear these sarees on Special occasions and would spend a fortune to acquire them whenever possible. These Garas are handed down from mothers to daughters / daughters-in -law and looked after in the same manner as a gold ornament. This community adopted India as their country, assimilated into the Indian culture adapted the customs of the Indian people in their attire and made the saree the most important part of their attire. Their men who were primarily a very adventurous sea faring lot indulged in trade and commerce and liked to sail to different countries and one of them was China.
The Qing dynasty was at its height in all manner of Arts and these men saw the artistic creativity of the people of this region where different kind of Hand Embroidered garments were made by them. This gave them an idea to ask them to do the same beautiful embroidery on long lengths of pure silks that would be worn as sarees by their wives and daughters to enhance their wardrobes. The women were over joyed and so many families started acquiring these beautiful sarees called 'Garas', and as they were so intricately embroidered and so fragile that  they cannot  and should not be washed, and even dry cleaning with chemicals is TABOO, as Vegetable dyes are used for colors) as also the workmanship was / is delicate.  These beautiful Garas were worn for very special occasions like marriages, birthdays, and given as part of a trusseau & Navjotes (an initiation  ceremony of the Zoroastrian Religion.)

Each piece of silk has no joints measuring from 5 ½ yards to 6 1/2 yards in length, from 45 inches to 56/57 inches in width. All four sides have borders embroidered on the main fabric as part of the sarees/ Garas ,not sewn separately. Each is an individual custom made piece . Colors range from deep purples, rich burgundy, / maroons, black, vibrant reds, rich clarets and deep shades of magenta.  The Base fabric is either pure silk crepe, crepe-de chine, satin, and some fabrics have an intricate interwoven design. Embroidery stitches are both satin, Peacock pearl and an amazing array of unknown stitches. The famous Forbidden stitch' is used on many pieces. The reverse side cannot be made out from the right side. This delicate embroidery speaks of the artist’s incredible creative resources in a period where technology was unheard of, like computers or graphics cards. The borders / trimmings are hand-made with pure silver or gold thread, with pure silver sequins arranged in a 3D rose patterns, some on base fabric of lace all measuring about 6 1/2 yards long continuous, no joints. Widths range from two to six inches depending on the individual piece.

All these beautiful pieces are very intricately embroidered in various colors, patterns, running panels of Chinese figures, pagodas, flowers, and bridges birds. Each piece is unique and made in an era when art flourished. A priceless collection. The majority of them, full-length pieces are in pristine condition, and very useable & wearable .Few need restoration work, -few are good for framing .Framing the complete 6 yards would enhance large walls like paintings in 5 star hotels to add that "Special touch" These long length pieces can also make a beautiful unique evening dress to wear for a RED Carpet Evening! They would be the talk of the town.

The borders or  KORS as they are better known in the colloquial language Or trimmings for outlining long evening dresses on necklines, or for sleeves or even used for enhancing the Abayas worn by Middle Eastern women-

Each and every one of my pieces is UNIQUE, Original  like an original painting of the grand masters. The other pieces in my collection are of 2 1/2 to 3 yards in length with just borders on two sides can be used either to make a jacket or an evening tops, tunics or lounging pants. These pieces are in beautiful colors like pale pink, off white, pale green, orange vibrant reds each one prettier than the other. Please check the complete website to appreciate and enjoy the art of Yesteryears’