How we’re recreating the Peacock Dress

How we’re recreating the Peacock Dress

The base fabrics will be embroidered in India by around 20 skilled “zardosi” embroiderers. The entire embroidery work will take three to four weeks to complete. The skirt will be embroidered in one piece: a large expanse of fabric will be rolled up and stretched on a frame, and the embroiderers will work from the middle outwards, unrolling as they go, so that the goldwork is not crushed.

It will then be flown to England, where I will cut, assemble and complete the gown, to be worn over recreations of the elaborate and beautiful underthings of the period.

Above left is my own embroidery sample, and above right, the sample completed by the Indian embroiderers. To illustrate the skill and experience of the Indian craftsmen, it should be noted that working alone, it would have taken me 30,000 hours to complete the embroidery for the whole dress, working at my fumbling amateur rate, whereas they will take around 8400 hours. In other words, the pros work three to four times faster than I do!

Skills

Posted on

June 29, 2014

6 Comments

  1. what is the technique name is _which was used to make the emridory

    Reply
    • Goldwork.

      Reply
  2. Are these embroidered at a different scale, or is the shot on the right a tighter view than the one on the left?

    Reply
    • Good question! I can see why that seems confusing! They’re on a different scale. The right hand sample has bigger feathers than the left. On the dress, they start very small at the waist and get larger and larger toward the hem, so the sample was not requested to be a particular size.

      Thank you for your interest, Jane!

      Reply
  3. Are you also using the beetle wings for the feather “eye”?

    Reply
    • That’s right Jeanne, the beetle wings are for the eyes of all the feathers.

      Reply

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