European embroidered hemp textile, circa early to mid-20th century. Originating from a remote Serbian village and prepared by women in the home for bridal trousseaus, this textile was woven from homespun, organically grown, hemp fibers and embellished with hand-embroidered decoration. Three, narrow-loomed pieces of fabric were sewn together to make a bed cover with the embroidered edge displayed along the front – beds were often pushed up against the wall. This is a beautiful, heavy textile that drapes nicely and can be repurposed as a tablecloth, drape or throw.
Condition: Excellent, well-preserved condition without holes. A faint blue mark is present in one corner, as shown. The fabric is an unbleached, light oatmeal color. It has been freshly laundered.
Size: 58" x 79" (148cm x 253cm).
GENERAL INFORMATION Hemp is an extremely durable, natural plant fiber historically valued for its strength. It is also a very breathable textile that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Serbian vintage hemp textiles were hand-loomed by women within the household and the process of producing hemp textiles was labor intensive. Everything from the growth and harvest of the crop, to the hand-spinning and hand-dying of fibers, and to finally the weaving of textiles was carried out in most villages by individual households. By the mid-20th century, this cottage industry had vanished from the Serbian countryside. Expect to find variation in the natural dyes used, variations in the weave and sometimes the presence of lignin fibers.
Item ID: RL-EA001552