This piece of embroidered silk handkerchief uses the satin stitch on a pink background. The satin stitch is a technique using a series of flat, parallel stitches to cover the background fabric. Blanket stitches are visible along the edges of the piece. The decorative motifs on this piece consist butterflies, pomegranates and floral motifs. Butterflies represent romance and love while pomegranates are symbols of fertility in the Chinese culture.Such pieces of embroidery were usually hand sewn by the Peranakan women themselves. The ability to create fine pieces of beadwork and embroidery was an expected skill of a Peranakan wife. A piece like this was possibly used during wedding ceremonies because of its auspicious motifs.

Early 20th century
Straits Settlements
Object size: 40 x 40 cm
Accession No.
Silk damask, silk thread
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Garments and Accessories