Gauze fragments

Gauze fragments

Gauze fragments (Textiles - Room 98, Case 3)
China
Late Tang to Five dynasties, 800-900 AD
Simple gauze weave with floats in silk
Width 7.5 cm x length 9.6 cm
Width 6.7 cm x length 8.8 cm
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.224 (Ch.00313)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India

The pattern woven silk gauze in purple has a design of dotted chevron bands with a double line along one edge, separated by a band of symbols. These comprise a lozenge shape quartered into four individual diamond shapes, each containing two lines crossing diagonally, alternating with an outlined swastika. The swastika motif is very old and is found in Neolithic cultures in both Iran and Europe, and later in many different cultures world-wide. In particular, the swastika became a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Some sources indicate that it was used as an alternative symbol of the sun during the Tang dynasty. However, its plain geometrical design made it particularly suitable for weaving.