The original Indian document was in several pieces which our designer fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle to find the pattern. We bought it from a textile dealer in New York; attached to one of the pieces was a little crinkled brown envelope bearing a faded inscription, explains Gilly. When this was deciphered it revealed that the original fabric was given in 1795 as a wedding present to an American girl by a woman with a Dutch-sounding name. From India, the bolt would have been imported to Holland by the Dutch East India Company, Gilly surmised, and found its way to America from there.
I love the thought of it, says Gilly.
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Both colourways are now part ofBennisons collections.