Burnous of fawn silk satin. One length of fabric has been folded so that the selvedge edge becomes the centre front. The hem is machine stitched. The neck hole is located between the stitched join of the hood and two large silk satin buttons that fasten with a cord. When worn the hood and tassle drape down the wearer’s back. An eight-centimetre band of eastern-inspired embroidery – featuring stem stitch, chain stitch and satin stitch – in silk floss on cotton muslin ground runs along this entire length.
The burnous – a long, flowing cloak of Arab and Moorish descent – quickly became a popular staple of the London department store Liberty & Co. in the early 1900s. The boldly delineated pattern of flora in warm and subtle tones, coupled with the exotic cut of the garment itself, harks back to the artful simplicities of pre-industrial times. In its allegiance to the handmade, the Burnousbelies nostalgia for the artisanal legacy of medieval Europe, as well as enchantment with the splendour of the Far East.