Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



In Approaching Textiles, Varying Viewpoints: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000


Copyright © 2000 by the author(s).


In this paper I will analyze the development of design within the several-hundred-yearold tradition of producing textiles in India for export to specific cultural markets in West Africa, in particular the appearance of Gujarati-style mirror-work embroidery within RMHK Fancy in the 1990s. I begin by describing the research process and defining RMHKFancy.

The paper is based on ethnographic field research I completed in Madras, India on contemporary embroidery production for export to West Africa in 1997. The research addressed the question of how design and production occur in a transnational trade textile tradition1 between India and West Africa, involving hand-embroidery,2 in which cultural authentication3 marks the acceptance and use of the textiles in their destination markets.4