Bride's Robe (Hwalot)
On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
The hwalot is a heavily embroidered cloak worn over many other layers of clothing by a Korean bride. Initially reserved for use by women of the yangban (aristocratic) class, by the early twentieth century the hwalot became the standard costume for all brides. A typical hwalot is decorated with multiple auspicious symbols to bring wealth, good fortune, and fertility to the new couple.
These expensive robes were passed from bride to bride over many generations. It was standard practice to cover the cuffs and collar with soft paper that could be replaced after each wedding to keep the robe looking fresh. This example contains many, many repairs, including patches of embroidery cut from other robes and mends sewn in colorful silk thread to look like part of the original design.
Embroidered silk panels, gold thread, paper lining
71 x 6 x 48 in. (180.3 x 15.2 x 121.9 cm) (show scale)
Brooklyn Museum Collection
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Bride's Robe (Hwalot), 19th century. Embroidered silk panels, gold thread, paper lining, 71 x 6 x 48 in. (180.3 x 15.2 x 121.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 27.977.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 27.977.4_front_PS11.jpg)
front, 27.977.4_front_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2017
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