Stein assigned the same number to two strips of the same type of figured silk. These were later split up, with one piece allocated to the V&A, and the other to the British Museum. They are of double weave in plain weave in blue, orange, light green, brown and white silk showing two types of six-petalled flower motifs in alternate rows. One row has a quadripartite centre with six broad petals, the next displays a centre with six smaller petals with six larger petals emerging between these from beneath. The pattern repeat is 2.9 cm in the warp direction and 5.6 cm in the weft direction.
On the fragment in V&A, there are traces of purple stitching along the selvedge where one tiny fragment of plain woven terracotta silk is also still attached. On the reverse of the fragment, there are the remains of paper kept in place by the stitching. The paper backing indicates that this piece was originally used as a sutra wrapper.
Double weave appeared in northwest China during the Han-Jin period (2nd-4thC) and Tang dynasty textiles made in this technique have also been found. The earliest silk examples were found in Tombs 206 and 187 at Astana. The fragment from Tomb No. 187 is similar to these double weave pieces from Dunhuang, but in different colours (fig.41). Therefore these strips probably date to the high Tang (705-780).
Warp A: silk, untwisted, paired, white, 38 ends/cm; Warp B: silk, untwisted, paired, light brown, 38 ends/cm; Weft A: silk, untwisted, single, white, 20 lats/cm; Weft B: silk, untwisted, single, light brown/yellow/blue/green, 20 lats/cm. Weave structure: double weave in plain weave.
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