Himalayan Art Resources

Textile: Finishing (Textile Mounts)

Textile: Composition & Finishing

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description
- Framing
--- Textile Mounts
--- Early Tibetan Style Mounts
--- Brocade Mounts
--- Embroidered Mounts
--- Nepalese Style Mounts
--- Chinese Style Mounts
--- Palpung Style Mounts
--- Painted Brocade
- Covering/veil
- Wooden Dowels
- Finials
- Labels
- Others...

Video: Thangka: Textile Mounts

Textile mounts are an art history topic. They are not informed or designed based on religious context or iconography. Originating from India, the earliest examples of mounts were simple strips of cotton cloth sewn to the top and bottom of a painted work. In Tibet early colours were commonly blue or green. These pieces were often flared outward at the top and bottom which added more protection for the sides of the painting when rolled. The vertical edges remained open although sometimes very thin strips of cloth were folded over to cover the front and back of the sides and sewn to prevent fraying from the exposed cloth.

Early examples of expensive brocade mounts were gifts from the patrons and leaders of the Yuan dynasty in China. The veil covering the painting, attached at the top of the mount, was also characteristic of the Chinese gifts. Simple paintings might have one veil or none at all. Important works often had three or four veils. A very elegant or imperial painting might have five veils.

Over time various designs for the mounts developed in the Himalayan and Tibetan regions along with adding swatches of expensive and rare pieces of cloth to the top and bottom. Red and yellow borders became popular in the 17th century and remain so to the present time.

Jeff Watt [updated 3-2021]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).