Online Encyclopedia

BROCADE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 622 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BROCADE, the name usually given to a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in coloured silks and with or without gold and silver threads. Ornamental features in brocade are emphasized and wrought as additions to the main fabric, sometimes stiffening it, though more frequently producing on its face the effect of low relief. These additions present a distinctive appearance on the back of the stuff, where kincobs, with Lyons silks that are broches with threads of gold, silk or other material. Notwithstanding this, many Indian kincobs And dainty gold and coloured silk-weavings of Persian workmanship, both without floating threads, are often called brocades, although in neither is the ornamentation really broche or brocaded. Con-temporary in use with the Spanish brocats is the word brocado. In addition to brocarts the French now use the word brother in connexion with certain silk stuffs which however are not brocades in the same sense as the brocarts. A wardrobe account of King Edward IV. (148o) has an entry of " satyn broched with gold "—a description that fairly applies to such an enriched Satin as that for instance shown in fig. 4. But some three centuries earlier than the date of that specimen, decorative stuffs were partly broads with gold threads by oriental weavers, especially those of Persia, Syria and parts of FIG. Piece of stuff woven thread on a cream-coloured ground. Along the top is the Kufic or brocaded with red silk and inscription " Arrahman " (The Merciful) several times repeated in Africa under the domination gold thread, with an -ogival framolive green on a gold-thread ground. Pairs of seated animals, of the Saracens, to whom the ing enclosing alternately, pairs of addorsed regardant, and geese vis-a-vis are worked within the lozenge- earlier germs, so to speak, of parrots, add resed regardant, and a shaped compartments of the trellis framework which regulates the brocading may be traced. wallshaped suit de device, SProbably pattern. Both animals and birds are separated by conventional g y leaf-shaped fruit device: Probably trees, and the latter are enclosed in inscriptions of Kufic characters. Of such is the r Ith or of Rhenish-Byzantine manufacture Siculo-Saracenic; rith or 12th century. 51 in. sq. 12th century Siculo-Saracenic in thel2thor13thcentury. 9m.long. specimen in fig. 1, in which the heads only of the pairs brocato, the Spanish brocar and the French brocarts and brother, of animals and birds are broched with gold thread. Another and implies a form of stitching or broaching, so that textile ' sort of brocaded material is indicated in fig. a, taken from a fabrics woven with an appearance of stitching or broaching have part of a sumptuous Siculo-Saracenic weaving' produced in consequently come to be termed " brocades." A Spanish docu- coloured silks and gold threads at the famous Hotel des Tiraz in Palermo for an official robe of Henry IV. (1165-1197) as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and still preserved in the cathedral of Regensburg. Fig. 3 is a further variety of textile that would be classed as brocat. This is of the 12th or 13th century manufacture, possibly by German or Rhenish-Byzan- tine weavers, or even by Spanish weavers, I many of whom at Almeria, Malaga, Grenada and Seville rivalled those at Palermo. In the 14th century the making of satins heavily brocaded with gold threads was associated conspicuously with such Italian towns as Lucca, Genoa, Venice and Florence. Fig. 4 is from a piece of 14th-century dark-blue satin broached in relief with gold thread in a design the like of which appears in the background of Orcagna's "Coronation of the Virgin," now in the National Gallery, London. During the 17th century Genoa, Florence and Lyons vied with each other in making brocades in which the enrichments were as frequently of coloured silks as of gold inter- mixed with silken threads. Fig. 5 is from a piece of crimson silk damask flatly brocaded with flowers, scroll forms, fruit and birds in gold. This is probably of Florentine workmanship. Rather more closely allied to modern brocades is the Lyons specimen given in fig. 6, in which the brocading is century. 161 in. wide. silks. Early in the 18th century Spitalfields was ment dated 1375 distinguishes. between losdrapsd'or a d'argent o I busy as a competitor with Lyons in manufacturing many de seda, and brocats d'or a d'ar gent, a difference which is readily sorts of brocades, specified in a collection of designs pre-perceived, upon comparing for instance cloths of gold, Indian served in the national art library of the Victoria and the weft or floating threads of the brocaded or, broached parts hang in loose groups or are clipped away. The Latin word broccus is related equally to the Italian Albert Museum, under such trade titles as " brocade lutstring, brocade tabby, brocade tissue, brocade damask, brocade satin, Venetian brocade, and India figured brocade." Brocading in China seems to be of considerable antiquity, and Dr Bushell in his valuable handbook on Chinese art cites a notice of five rolls of brocade with dragons woven upon a crimson ground, presented by the emperor Ming Ti of the Wei dynasty, in the year A.U. 238, to the reigning empress of Japan; and varieties of brocade patterns are recorded as being in use during the Sung dynasty (96o-1279). The first edition of an illustrated work upon tillage and weaving was published in China in 1210, and contains an engraving of a loom constructed to weave flowered-silk brocades such as are woven at the present time at Suchow and Hangchow and elsewhere. On the other hand, although they are described usually as brocades, certain specimens of imperial Chinese robes sumptuous in ornament, sheen of coloured silks and the glisten of golden threads, are woven in the tapestry-weaving manner and without any floating threads. It seems reasonable to infer that Persians and Syrians derived the art of weaving brocades from the Chinese, and as has been indicated, passed it on to Saracens as well as Europeans. (A. S. C.)
End of Article: BROCADE
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