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.

In interior furnishings, baldachine is used to describe any over-head textile that is richly furnished and decorative. A simple version is just a canopy. Or a mosquito net.

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.

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