5'11" x 5'11" (180cm x 180cm) India, Kashmir: Mid-19th Century Embroidery, double-interlocked twill tapestry: wool
An antique woolen shawl from Kashmir, India - the original that has inspired many European imitations since the early nineteenth century, e.g. Paisley shawls of Scotland.
There is probably no other item that encapsulates the centuries-long interaction of art, fashion and commerce between East and West. Shawl comes from the Persian and Urdu word "shal", itself probably from Hindi and Sanskrit roots; Kashmir is the origin of the word "cashmere" and "pashmina" means "made from wool" in Persian.