This is a pair of embroidered and beaded wedding knee pads. Tiny coloured glass beads, also known as ‘manek kacha’ or ‘Rocaille beads’ are used here to create a colourful floral design. This sophisticated embroidery is typical of work from the turn of the 20th century. Motifs featuring flowering peony trees, such as the one featured in this piece, were typical of creations done in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. The flowers and leaves are depicted in carefully graded tones, using the satin stitch. Knee pads such as these were usually hand made by the bride to be and were part of the items in the wedding trousseau or dowry given to the groom’s family. The effort required to sew on the possibly thousands of beads showed the bride’s patience and dedication, traditional qualities highly esteemed in a wife.

Straits Settlements
Image size: Please refer to individual piece
Accession No.
Velvet, satin, cotton wadding, metal beads, cotton thread
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Garments and Accessories