Wedding bed hangings were usually hung from the front of the canopy of the four-poster bed. These were usually created using the threading method. However, some might also combine various embroidery techniques to create a more intricate piece of art. Gold couching is used here to create the several ‘Qilin’ (mythical hooved Chinese creature) on this piece of embroidery. It is a method where parallel lengths of metallic thread are laid on a fabric surface and held together by secondary stitches of silk thread. These stitches are often worked over the metallic thread to form a secondary pattern on top, in this case the mythical ‘Qilin’. These mystical creatures are considered good omens in Chinese culture and symbolise prosperity. The motifs are set against a red background, also considered an auspicious colour and thus appropriate to be placed in the bridal chamber. Large embroideries such as this were produced in workshops in China as well as locally. The fringe of beaded tassels that runs along one of its length was probably added locally.

Straits Settlements
Object size: 195 x 112 cm
Accession No.
Silk, satin, cotton thread, silk thread, cotton wadding
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum

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