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Fabric of India - V & A

This was a wonderful exhibition - and I could have stayed for much longer - there were room after room of wonderful textiles. However, two hours was all I had, in an all too rare visit to London. Luckily, the accompanying catalogue is lavishly produced and illustrated, and will be a lasting reminder.

The exhibition was grouped around themes - first up were different types of fabrics and the types of dyes used to colour them. Different regional styles of textiles also featured, followed by a range of items includingn hangings, rugs, tents and clothes. While some items were on loan from other museums, most were from the V & A's own collections. I had not realised what an extensive collection is held - apparently it has many items from the now vanished Museum of India  (which I had never heard of). It also possess many items from the Great Exhibition held at Crystal Palace...many textile items were sent from India and are well documented.

The clothes and hangings were stunning. Two large tents were equally amazing - both were given their own areas. I was especially impressed with the hangings that were found abandoned on a New York sidewalk and later donated to the Museum. Later rooms documented the huge trade that India had with other regions, including Europe and the East. A final area had displays of modern textiles and clothing from Indian designers.

The catalogue cost me £30 and is well worth the price.

Pippa Moss