Brocade

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For other uses, see Brocade (disambiguation). Brocade_sentence_0

Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads. Brocade_sentence_1

The name, related to the same root as the word "broccoli", comes from Italian broccato meaning "embossed cloth", originally past participle of the verb broccare "to stud, set with nails", from brocco, "small nail", from Latin broccus, "projecting, pointed". Brocade_sentence_2

Brocade is typically woven on a draw loom. Brocade_sentence_3

It is a supplementary weft technique; that is, the ornamental brocading is produced by a supplementary, non-structural, weft in addition to the standard weft that holds the warp threads together. Brocade_sentence_4

The purpose of this is to give the appearance that the weave was actually embroidered on. Brocade_sentence_5

In Guatemala, brocade is the most popular technique used to decorate fabric woven by Maya weavers on backstrap looms. Brocade_sentence_6

Ornamental features in brocade are emphasized and wrought as additions to the main fabric, sometimes stiffening it, though more frequently producing on its face the effect of low relief. Brocade_sentence_7

In some, but not all, brocades, these additions present a distinctive appearance on the back of the material where the supplementary weft or floating threads of the brocaded or broached parts hang in loose groups or are clipped away. Brocade_sentence_8

When the weft is floating on the back, this is known as a continuous brocade; the supplementary weft runs from selvage to selvage. Brocade_sentence_9

The yarns are cut away in cutwork and broché. Brocade_sentence_10

Also, a discontinuous brocade is where the supplementary yarn is only woven in the patterned areas. Brocade_sentence_11

History Brocade_section_0

China Brocade_section_1

The manufacture of brocade began during the Warring States period of China. Brocade_sentence_12

Many products of brocade have been found in tombs of the era. Brocade_sentence_13

Southeast Asia Brocade_section_2

Songket is a type of brocade in the Malay world. Brocade_sentence_14

Byzantium Brocade_section_3

Dating back to the Middle Ages, brocade fabric was one of the few luxury fabrics worn by nobility throughout China, India, Persia, Greece, Japan, Korea and Byzantium. Brocade_sentence_15

Woven by the Byzantines, brocades were an especially desirable fabric. Brocade_sentence_16

From the 4th to the 6th centuries, production of silk was seemingly non-existent, as linen and wool were the predominant fabrics. Brocade_sentence_17

During this period, there was no public knowledge of silk fabric production except for that which was kept secret by the Chinese. Brocade_sentence_18

Over the years, knowledge of silk production became known among other cultures and spread westward. Brocade_sentence_19

As silk production became known to Western cultures, trade from the East began to decrease. Brocade_sentence_20

It was discovered by Byzantine historians that in the 6th century a pair of monks brought the secret of sericulture – silk production – to the Byzantine emperor. Brocade_sentence_21

As a result, Western cultures were able to learn how to breed, raise, and feed silkworms. Brocade_sentence_22

From this point until the 9th century, Byzantium became the biggest and most central producer for all of the Western world in the production of all types of silk motifs, including brocades, damasks, brocatelles and tapestry-like fabrics. Brocade_sentence_23

During the Early Middle Ages, brocade fabrics were only available to the wealthiest of people as the Byzantine emperor charged extreme prices for the fabric. Brocade_sentence_24

The designs woven into brocade fabrics were often Persian in origin. Brocade_sentence_25

It was also common to see Christian subjects depicted in the complex weaves of the fabric. Brocade_sentence_26

When these luxurious fabrics were made into clothing or wall hangings, they were at times adorned with precious and semiprecious stones, small medallions of enamel, embroidery and appliqués. Brocade_sentence_27

The Late Middle Ages Brocade_section_4

The life of a noble during the Late Middle Ages was filled with entertainment: riding and hunting, music and dancing, and feasting. Brocade_sentence_28

All of these activities became a stage for the display of fashion. Brocade_sentence_29

Wealthy noblemen and noblewomen dressed in silk brocades from Italy, and velvets trimmed with fur from Germany. Brocade_sentence_30

During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Court of Burgundy was made known for their continuous fashionable tastes and luxurious dress. Brocade_sentence_31

Renaissance Italy Brocade_section_5

Brocades were also an important fabric during the Renaissance, and especially the Italian Renaissance. Brocade_sentence_32

As wool and silk were the primary fabrics used by Europeans during the Renaissance, and despite the lack of documentary evidence, it is said that due to the increase in complexity of decoration of Italian silk fabrics of the 15th century, there must have been improvements in silk-weaving looms around this time. Brocade_sentence_33

The complexity and high quality of luxurious silk fabrics caused Italy to become the most important and superior manufacturer of the finest silk fabrics for all of Europe. Brocade_sentence_34

The almost sculptural lines of the fashions during the Renaissance were paired perfectly with the exquisite beauty and elegance of brocade, damask, and other superior silk textiles. Brocade_sentence_35

The motifs remained Chinese, Indian and Persian in origin and were a reflection of the trading between the Far East and Italy. Brocade_sentence_36

It is said that some Renaissance painters designed and sketched textile designs for fabrics production as well as incorporation into their paintings. Brocade_sentence_37

Modern uses Brocade_section_6

Brocade fabrics are mostly for upholstery and draperies. Brocade_sentence_38

They are also used for evening and formal clothing, for vestments, as well as for costumes. Brocade_sentence_39

In India, Banarasi Brocade Fabrics are extensively used for women fashion in form of Sarees, Dress Materials and Dupattas. Brocade_sentence_40

The use of precious and semiprecious stones in the adornment of brocades is not common but has been replaced with the use of sequins and beading as decoration. Brocade_sentence_41

Brocade fabrics are now largely woven on a Jacquard loom that is able to create many complex tapestry-like designs using the jacquard technique. Brocade_sentence_42

Although many brocade fabrics look like tapestries and are advertised by some fashion promotions as such, they are not to be confused with true tapestries. Brocade_sentence_43

Patterns such as brocade, brocatelle, damask and tapestry-like fabrics are known as jacquard patterns. Brocade_sentence_44


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocade.