Title:Manchu Woman's Semiformal Court Robe (chi-fu)Artist:Artist UnknownDate:Ch'ing dynastyCreation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:The John R. Van Derlip FundAccession Number:42.8.51
Silk tapestry, or k'o-ssu, was a technically demanding weave admired by the Chinese for its lightness and clarity of pattern. Unlike the case in continuous weft brocade, each color area had to be woven from a separate bobbin. This made the finest k'o-ssu, like this robe, extremely time consuming to produce as well as expensive. Woven gowns as intricate as this, and fully embroidered robes, could take professional weavers between one and two years to fabricate.