“Beetle-Wing Embroidery in Nineteenth Century Fashion- Green Era of Fashion”

Beetle Wing Embroidery

Did you ever come to know about the dresses that will have embroidery work with the wings of a bug? No, but don’t worry. Have a very brief view of Beetle Wing embroidery in nineteenth century fashion- green era of fashion.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Beetle wing embroidery technique  gained popularity in Europe. Most of the preserved outfits with embroidered work of beetle wings come from around the mid-19th century. These outfits emphasize the brilliance and bright green color of the elegant design. Every single beetle wing gives gorgeous tones of green and blue. Slowly and gradually, these beetle wing embroideries become popular across the world.

Beetle Wing Embroidery

Beetle wing embroidery is an applied technique using iridescent beetle wing casings rather than the actual beetle wings. For at least numerous centuries, this work was famous in various Asian countries, notably China, India, Japan, Myanmar, and Thailand.

One of the most interesting known types of embellishment work was the elytra embroidery. These beetles are mainly in Asia, mainly in India and the Indochina Peninsula. Its wings have an exceptionally shimmering emerald shine.

From Where the Come

The species was first explained in 1866 by Edward Saunders. Different beetle wing casings are used in this work, but the most valued were belong to the genusSternocera. These beetles have firm wing covering, which have a metallic, emerald green iridescence. The wing casings are either stitched down entirely to the ground material or cut up into minute pieces and then stitched down.

Interesting Facts about Beetle-wings

  • The life span of an adult individual is approximately 1-4 weeks.
  • Dead samples have collected the wings.
  • The wings are pretty enduring (if not exposed to mechanical harm) and preserve their shine for an extended time.
  • Also, it is effortless to use scissors for freely modeling. The wings are usually penetrated at both ends and sutured onto the fabric.
  • When the observer looks at the adornment from different angles, the colors glitter green, blue, and purple shades, the color also depends on the type and angle of the light.
  • Beetle-wing also known as elytra, used in embroidery rose to fame in eighteenth-century India.

Beetle Wings Embroidery Technique

Beetle Wings Embroidery Technique

Indian Origin

Elytra are the hard casings made of chitin that shield insects from fragile wings. Those are used for embroidery work and are generally green with a blue-purple shimmer. These are not only used on fabric but jewelry.

Beetle-wing embellishment was made all over India during the Mughal era. But the court in Jaipur took the art to new levels in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The elytra are almost always cut up into sequins and used as small parts of overall patterns rather than a primary material. Elytra lives near the sequined borders, in motifs. But present in all-over designs with multicolored foil.

The elytra were paired with zardozithat is gold embroidery, and the embellishment was often done on colored cotton or silks.

Western Beetle-Wings Embroidery

In the Early nineteens, the craft of beetle-wing embellishment is part of that legacy. Most Victorian elytra dresses use each elytron in its primary condition so that it is a wing casing or broken up into large chunks. They also cover immense swaths of the dress, making it impossible not to notice the sparkling green.

The Indian style of embroidery work, on the other hand, tended to use tiny pieces, and they can be confusing to spot.

The considerable novel aspect of the Western dresses is their biomimicry: Elytra were embroidered onto gowns in the impression of live beetles. This practice may reflect the typically Victorian interest in naturalism – ordering and classifying the natural world.

Western Beetle-Wings Embroidery

Elytra embroidery work is done on white cotton dresses. Most beetle-wing attires from this era are white, but there is evidence that darker dresses existed, mostly from textile fragments and embellishment done on black filigree.

Lady Curzon

Perhaps the most famous scarab wing dresses are those of Lady Curzon, made for the Delhi Durbar in 1903 and colloquially known as the “peacock dress”. It is covered with zardozi in the form of peacock feathers. (Symbol of India and its generosity), and in the center of the “eye” of each feather is an elytron.

Curzon and her husband were the governor couple. However – extensions of British power in India. Her dress went over splendidly with the British reporters, but the gesture likely fell somewhat low for the Indians in attendance.

Beetle-wing embellishment in the typical Western touch continued to be used on evening apparel in the teens and twenties. colors like black, green, gold and, even pink was used in addition to the typical white.

Stage & Theatrical Costumes

Costume designers have taken advantage of the marvelous look of beetle elytra for more than a century. Two Designer costumes for Dame Ellen Terry caught the attention of Oscar Wilde in 1888. While it is better known by the larger-than-life painting done by John Singer Sargent in 1889, the dress still exists today, conserved at her home.

Much more recently, several dresses adorned with beetles have appeared in films. Designer Colleen Atwood was likely to impress Comyns Carr when she designed for Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and made a more subtle appearance on a historic-inspired green damask dress in 2007 Elizabeth: The Golden Age, designed by Alexandra Byrne. Scarab Elytra have a mysterious and inspiring quality that makes them useful in costumes  even after so many centuries.

Beetle-wing embellishment is the green era of Fashion. This epoch has its grace and stories. Many of the Costumes are still present in museums. Beetle-wing tradition started in India and was eventually in demand in the western fashion industry.

Beetle-wing embellishment becomes a sign of glory and grace. Most of the Famous and elite personalities like to wear beetle-wing embroidered dresses. Then beetle-wing dresses are picturized and used in the entertainment industry. The Beetle-wings embroidery is a piece of naturalism and, it is still alive in some of the countries around the world.

Keep reading:-

Explore More...