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Title: Collections of Indian silk textiles and their connection with the English silk industry between 1830 and 1930
Author: King, Brenda M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 8329
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis takes as its subject collections of Indian silk textiles and their connection with the English silk industry between 1830 and 1930. This period saw the highest achievement and the most serious decline of English silk manufacturing. Working from sources which include English and Indian silk textiles, lecture notes, students' work books, manufacturers' samples, contemporary written material, minutes etc., key textile collections were identified and examined in the broader context of the English silk industry and its connections with Indian silk in its many forms. The most important sources of written primary evidence were the papers of silk manufacturer Thomas Wardle. Although the second half of the nineteenth century has been identified by historians as a time when industrial design was a subject of serious consideration, very little research has been done on either the English silk industry as a whole or on silk designs of this period. The period was a time when major international exhibitions were formative events in design debates. They were also opportunities for India's great range of silk textiles to be seen in the west for the first time. By the end of the nineteenth century India's textile designs and techniques were well integrated into the Western textile tradition. India's textiles have consistently provided models in design, construction and utility since the seventeenth century in Europe and are still a rich source of stimuli to Europe's designers. Studies of nineteenth century English design however, have paid little attention to this important role played by Indian silk textiles. From an English perspective this thesis deals with aesthetic values, including the notion of 'good' design, design education, industrial development, the role of international exhibitions and the Arts and Crafts Movement. The training of English textile designers and the relationship between design education and manufacturing, is an area about which very little is known. The broad sweep is deliberate as wide-ranging evidence supports the notion that there are a number of neglected contexts for India's silk textiles. It is hoped that this will encourage Indian textiles to be viewed in a broader context than previously and will secure a greater understanding of their wide - spread application. This is an important objective as some historians have considered Indian textiles as being merely fleetingly stylish at different periods, no more than one aspect of the perceived demand for the fashionably exotic in Europe. Such interpretations have detracted from an appreciation of their long- standing intrinsic values, which were admired by many cultures over many centuries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available