Textile fragment depicting hummingbirds, Peru

This border looks like it was knitted as a 'free structure', but it is actually embroidered using a cross-knit loop stitch, which closely resembles knitting.

The embroidered surface is probably a cotton textile. The fragment was produced with dyed animal fibre from llamas, alpacas or vicunas (all members of the camelid family), which absorb dye more easily than cotton, producing more vivid colours. This object, still with its vibrant colours, dates to the Early Intermediate Period (400BC to 500AD) and was excavated in Nazca, Peru.

Purchased at auction in 1934.

Accession number: 1934.70.39