In this area the pile has rotted away. It was originally very dark brown or black and iron is used in the dyeing process to create these colours. It literally corrodes the woollen fibres and over time they rot and fall out, revealing the warp and weft threads.
You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.