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 Post subject: Miao cover
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
I was recently given this cover by a Taiwanese friend who said it was from Loudian County. It is made up of 6 panels machine stitched together and measures some 136cm x 148cm. The ground of the cross stitch panels is a heavy hemp/raimie whilst that of the wax-resist indigo dyed panel is a light machine made cotton.
Each cross stitch panel is bordered with machine stitched appliqued cotton strips. The cross stitch appears to be made of wool in orange, yellow, white, green and red. The cross stitch flows into the applique border beautiully integrating the material design.
The wax resist panels have delineated with machine stitched red appliqued cotton strips. In two of these panels this is done using yellow thread whilst the third panel uses red cotton. The latter panel also incorporates a machine printed floral cotton appliqued strip and cross stitch detailing in orange - the other two panels have this detail done in red wool. Although each cross stitch and wax panel is different in design the overall design is great. In particular the panel combination of cross stitch, wax resist, wax-resist, cross stitch, wax-resist and cross stitch works very well. Although this piece has been well used the colours used would indicate a more recent pedigree?
Regards
Iain


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File comment: Full cover
Cover full.jpg
Cover full.jpg [ 81.26 KiB | Viewed 5148 times ]
File comment: Cover batik detail
Cover detail1.jpg
Cover detail1.jpg [ 102.26 KiB | Viewed 5148 times ]
File comment: Cover cross stitch detail
Cover detail2.jpg
Cover detail2.jpg [ 112.02 KiB | Viewed 5148 times ]
File comment: Cover back detail of cross stitch
Cover back.jpg
Cover back.jpg [ 89.88 KiB | Viewed 5148 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:06 am 
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Iain

As I expect you realise, this cover has been made up from reused strips from skirts. In some of the strips, especially the wax resist ones, you can still see the remains of the pleating from the skirts. It does have a Loudian county look about it.

I have just had an external drive failure on which all my trip photos were stored. I have just received a new drive (which can set up as a Raid 1 drive with one drive mirroring the other - I am really worried about drive failure now as I have had 2 different external drive failures on different computers). I will have to rebuild my storage from copies and back ups (although I have lost some material I think where I didn't keep up with the back-ups but this is mainly edited 'stuff'.) I think I have some Loudian photos from 2001 which have similar styles in the skirts but those had silk felt applique as well. If I can get to a photo I will post.

Thanks very much for posting these photos and your description. What a lovely present! Great to see re-use of carefully worked textiles. It should make us realise how much the Miao themselves valued the work which went into the original creation so that good pieces continue to have a life as long as they look good. It also illustrates the drive of 'need'.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: Cover use
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:53 pm 
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Yes Pamela these are definitely reused skirt panels - I was just looking at some of the new skirts I have collected and there are similarities. On several of the applique strips evidence of the old stitching may still be seen. Also the use of the machine printed floral pattern applique strip occurs on two other Loudian County skirts in my collection. The effects of pleating as you point out may still be seen as well as some abrasion occuring on the pleat peaks shown in the image below. I do enjoy the 'vibrancy' of this piece and the recycling ethic behind it! On all of the skirts in my collection the cross stitch work is done on a hemp/raimie ground whilst the wax-resist is consistently done on a significantly 'tighter' cotton - perhaps this is simply borne out of the 'ease' of employing the respective techniques but I wonder how this was done before the advent of industrially machine made cotton bolts.
I remain very aware of the need for burning back up discs and virus protection having been a 'victim' of a particularly violent virus. May you soon be free from gremlins in respect to your computer drive!
Iain


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File comment: Pleat peak abrasion detail
clip_image002.jpg
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:19 pm 
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Iain

Wax resist which is done on hand spun and hand woven cloth - be it cotton or hemp or ramie does not provide such a fine 'finish' or fine lines but, nevertheless, this was what was used before the machine spun thread and machine woven cloth arrived. The thicker threads which can easily be seen make hemp/ramie better for embroidery as the threads give a grid to follow and also allow the needle to enter more easily.

If you look at some of the beautiful wax resist pieces that Andrew Dudley has shared with us on the forum - Ge Jia, Bailing Miao, Rao Jia - there are some examples to compare of hand spun, hand woven cloth with wax resist and examples done on machine made cloth and you can see the difference in the fineness of the wax resist. You can see similar differences in fineness in the Iban skirts where the ikat designs are smoother and finer on more recent skirts where machine spun thread is used compared to hand-spun cotton. There are comparisons on the forum where John or I have made comments on this for Iban skirts.

It is often one of the ways of identifying older textiles. Initially one may be drawn to the fineness of the more modern wax resist (or ikat) and reject what are very good older pieces because they seem less fine in the execution of the wax resist designs.

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:17 am 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
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Location: Bristol, England
On the subject of batik on hand produced cotton cloth as against machine made cloth, is there anyone out there who can comment on when manufactured cotton cloth might have appeared in Guizhou?

I have been told that quite fine machine made cloth was available to the Ge Jia in markets such as ChongAn (being comparatively accessable by river) at least 100 years ago. Can anyone confirm or discredit this claim?

From what I understand, all hand woven cloth was made on fairly narrow looms, giving a width of about 30-45 cm. Fine cotton cloth is very obviously industrially produced, however, I also have batik pieces made on heavy, loose woven cloth that is about 60-70 cm wide, which I originally assumed was hand made on wider looms, but if wider looms didn’t exist, then presumably it is a lower grade machine woven cloth.

Does anyone have any ideas?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:02 am 
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Andrew

Re looms. It depends on the type of loom. If it is backstrap then the width tends to be narrower. If it is an upright 'fixed' loom then the width can be wider. Upright looms are used in the area although I think the ones that I have seen in Guizhou in use have still had fairly narrow textiles warped up.

I will have a think about who might have an idea about your question re availability of machine-made cloth and see if I can generate any info. We might get somewhere with availability of machine made cotton cloth generally - I have seen comments about this - and but specific availability in Guizhou may be more challenging.

I think this is an interesting question for research and hope we can collate some info on it.

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:22 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Thanks Pamela. It would certainly be helpful to be able to put an upper limit on the potential age of pieces made using fine machine-made cloth.


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