A piano shawl is a large square or rectangular piece of fabric that is used to decorate the top surface of a grand piano. It serves the practical purpose of protecting the piano from nicks, scratches, and the elements. However, many such shawls are quite elaborate and also serve as decoration.
Piano shawls are very often heavily embroidered with bold colors and patterns. The patterns often incorporate flowers or nature scenes. It is also quite common for them to be edged in long fringe. Not only does the fringe look exquisite, but it also helps to drape the shawl evenly over the piano.
Piano shawls are generally made of thick silk. This fabric glides naturally onto the surface of a piano and is kept in place by its natural weight as well as the weight of the embroidery. They became quite popular in the Victorian era when having a piano in one's parlor was considered to be at the height of sophistication.
In addition to serving as a decoration, the piano shawl has also been incorporated into women's fashion. Just as a shawl drapes beautifully on a baby grand, it hangs exquisitely on a woman's body. When piano shawls are worn as garments, they are generally used as accessories to evening wear. They can be worn over gowns or even cocktail dresses. Furthermore, they offer a nice amount of warmth and can be used as a very fashionable alternative to a coat.
If you are interested in purchasing a piano shawl, be sure to check the antique market. They are not as popular today as they once were, and it can be difficult to find one that is newly fabricated. You should be able to find an antique piano shawl that is in very good condition. If you find an antique shawl online, be sure to communicate directly with the seller to determine the condition of the fabric before making your purchase.