A canopy of richly ornamented brocades draped over an altar or shrine. The lovely translation of baldachine is “silk from Baghdad”. Baldachine can be fixed in place with rings or a stitched pocket top, or made as loose panels to be slipped over the corner posts during religious processions.
Also used to describe the top canopy and hangings of a four-poster bed. It’s contemporary, grown up version is the full or half tester top fitting from the ceiling over a divan. The textiles, trimmings, linings and fittings can be complex, highly decorated and luxurious, or very simple, sheer fabrics pleated into the centre. Any light fabric – silk, cotton muslin toile or tiny prints can be used, as well as finely woven damask and velvets.