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 Post subject: Shui baby carriers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 315
Baby carriers:
On Susan’s website (www.tribaltrappings.com) item # TACH111 http://www.tribaltrappings.com/TACH111.php is a Shui baby carrier almost identical to my baby carriers #2 and #6! Another baby carrier (my #4) is also very similar - differing only in the centre top panel which is floral in design. I was really happy to see her example as the 3 different individuals I purchased these carriers from could only say that they came from China. I await the arrival of “Bonding via Baby Carriers” to see if there are any further examples.
The bottom piece of Baby carrier #4 appears to have been added later although it still bears signs of long wear (see bottom detail). Why do I think this? Firstly, the panel’s appliqué (although worn) ‘feels’ newer. There is also use of a woven ribbon incorporated as a border which just seems to be made by modern machine? Interestingly, in the detail close up of this section where the embroidery has worn through above the flower you can see what appears to be a thick paper padding out the design and giving it a more 3D appearance. There are further similarities between the side border of baby carrier#4 and the bottom border of baby carrier#2 (olive green thread on a pink background).
Comparison of baby carriers #2 and #6 shows that there construction and design is almost identical. However, they do differ in one significant way: the bottom portion of baby carrier#2 is done in running/chain stitch and incorporates sequins, whilst that of baby carrier#6 is done in appliqué. This makes me think that baby carrier#6 is perhaps newer – reflecting the move away from embroidery?
The central panels of baby carriers#2 and #6 are incredible as the individual sections that make up the ‘butterfly’ design are not fully attached which enables the ‘wings’ to move. Absolutely delightful! Does Susan have any more information on the one shown on her website?


Attachments:
File comment: Miao baby carrier 1
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 1 detail
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Last edited by iain on Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Miao baby carriers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:30 am 
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Here is baby carrier 2


Attachments:
File comment: Miao baby carrier 2
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 2 center panel detail
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 2 lower section
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 2 top section
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 Post subject: Miao baby carriers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:36 am 
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Posts: 315
Here is number 4


Attachments:
File comment: Miao baby carrier 4 top panel
M-bby-crrr4tp-pnlE.jpg
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 4 left border detail
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 4 top
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 4 lower section
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 4 lower section detail
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 Post subject: Miao baby carriers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:41 am 
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Miao baby carrier 4 full view


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File comment: Miao baby carrier 4
M--bby-crrr4E.jpg
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 Post subject: Miao baby carriers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:45 am 
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Here is number 5. See also http://www.tribaltextiles.info/community/viewtopic.php?t=316&highlight=
Also: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/community/viewtopic.php?t=113


Attachments:
File comment: Miao baby carrier 5
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 5 lower section
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 5 top panel detail 1
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 5 top panel detail 2
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Last edited by iain on Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Miao baby carriers
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:54 am 
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Number 6 :D


Attachments:
File comment: Miao baby carrier 6
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 6 top left detail
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 6 top centre panel
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 6 lower section
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File comment: Miao baby carrier 6 lower section detail
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:53 pm 
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Sorry not to have commented on these baby carriers before.

I think that 2 and 5 are not Shui but Miao. I would say that 1, 2, 4 and 6 are Shui. The general design of these is Shui and I think that I can see the use of gimp to outline many of the designs. This is horsehair which has been wrapped in cotton thread and appears as a white outlining. It is quite a traditional Shui technique.

In some villages the Shui and Miao, especially Bailing Miao, live closely together - and influence each other. There is a thread which deals with some of this http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=498

In 2005 I visited Sandu county in Guizhou which has a considerable population of Shui. I attach - see next post - some photos taken on 13 May 2005 in Ban Miao (meaning 'near Miao') village, Zhong He township, Sandu county showing some Shui baby carriers in a fairly traditional style. I also attach - to this post - several photos from market day at Zhong He township market which was in full swing when we drove through to get to the village. It was full of Shui, dressed in some of their 'best' clothes to go to the market. Several women were carrying babies in the current style of carrier. Also see some completed baby carriers laid out for sale and also ready embroidered pieces of carrier ready to be assembled. These were similar to some that were laid out for us by the Shui women in Ban Miao village.


Attachments:
File comment: 13 May 2005 the market in Zhong He township, Sandu county - Shui women and children
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File comment: 13 May 2005 the market in Zhong He township, Sandu county - Shui mother and child
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File comment: 13 May 2005 the market in Zhong He township, Sandu county - Shui mother and child
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File comment: 13 May 2005 the market in Zhong He township, Sandu county with Shui baby carriers laid out for sale
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File comment: 13 May 2005 the market in Zhong He township, Sandu county showing traditional Shui sewing and weaving - including baby carrier pieces.
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Last edited by Pamela on Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:07 pm 
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Photos taken on 13 May 2005 in Ban Miao (meaning 'near Miao') village, Zhong He township, Sandu county showing some Shui baby carriers. They are made in the more traditional style. They may not be new. I can see some sequins on the carrier on the right. Many of the minorites are increasingly attracted to things that shine and are incorporating them into their costume.

The Shui woman glimsped behind the three carriers is demonstrating making the gimp thread - wrapping cotton thread around horsehair.


Attachments:
File comment: Shui baby carriers laid out in the roof garden of a Shui house in Ban Miao village, Zhong He township, Sandu county - 13 May 2005
IMGP2645w.jpg
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File comment: Shui sewing and weaving laid out in the roof garden of a Shui house in Ban Miao village, Zhong He township, Sandu county - 13 May 2005
IMGP2641w.jpg
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File comment: Shui woman sewing shoe tops on 13 May 2005 in Ban Miao (meaning 'near Miao') village, Zhong He township, Sandu county
IMGP2638w.jpg
IMGP2638w.jpg [ 53.05 KiB | Viewed 10832 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:43 am 
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Great photos Pamela! It is so good to see the people using these items and also interesting to see the variety of goods for sale.

I agree with your attributions and do not really have much to say about the Shui other than to note the wrapped-horse hair gimp that Pamela has already mentioned: they make more use of it than any other group that I can think of.

Your carrier #5 appears to be from the Flowered Miao and another thread on page 2 addressed these: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/community/viewtopic.php?t=316 The difference between yours and the example I show is that the designs on mine are created using a fine chain stitch, and yours appears to be using the gimp, like the Shui. One must wonder if this is a rather radical change in materials, or an influence due to proximity to the Shui (I don't even know if they're proximate), or...? Pamela- any thoughts on this?

Carrier #1 is like some I have (http://www.tribaltrappings.com/TACH_4.html) that are Miao from Ziping County in Guizhou Province. They can be especially labor-intensive in their techniques. But of course, all baby carriers are labors of love, so the work is usually exceptional.

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 Post subject: Horse hair query
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 2:50 pm 
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Many many thanks Pamela and Susan for your great photos and insights. I apologise here for the huge number of images postd - I got a little carried away :oops:
I was most interested to read of the 'gimping'
Quote:
Pamela wrote: The general design of these is Shui and I think that I can see the use of gimp to outline many of the designs. This is horsehair which has been wrapped in cotton thread and appears as a white outlining. It is quite a traditional Shui technique.

Quote:
Susan wrote: I agree with your attributions and do not really have much to say about the Shui other than to note the wrapped-horse hair gimp that Pamela has already mentioned: they make more use of it than any other group that I can think of.

I was sharing this information with a collector here in Taiwan and she suggested that this was not animal horse hair but came from the leaves of a plant whose common name is horse hair plant. I know that there is a plant traditionally used in the making of raincoats, which has 'horse hair' as one its common names. Is this indeed the case? Or, is actual animal horse hair used?
Interestingly there is actually a plant, (the old taxonomic name for which was Vellozia equisitoides, and if memory serves me correctly, the latest Taxonomic changes have transfered this into the Xerophyta genus) which is also known as a horse hair plant back in Africa. The long leaves have been known to be used by the Tonga tribe of Zimbabwe/Zambia in some textiles. The very long leaves were collected, split lengthwise and then incorporated whilst still wet. The flowers of this incredibly old plant species last but a single day whilst the stem has a blackened fibrous texture appearing to have been subjected to fire.

Quote:
Susan wrote:Your carrier #5 appears to be from the Flowered Miao and another thread on page 2 addressed these: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=316. The difference between yours and the example I show is that the designs on mine are created using a fine chain stitch, and yours appears to be using the gimp, like the Shui. One must wonder if this is a rather radical change in materials, or an influence due to proximity to the Shui (I don't even know if they're proximate), or...?
Susan's question of proximal influence is indeed a fascinating one and I will follow up at Fu Jen University Textile Research Unit.
How amazing to see the photos you posted. The similarity of these carriers provides convincing evidence of the influence if indeed not the origin of some of the carriers I have collected!
Many thanks.


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 Post subject: gimp thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:34 pm 
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My understanding is that the traditional core to gimp is a hair of the horse animal. I quote from page 29 "Miao Embroidery from South West China" by Ruth Smith with textiles from the Gina Corrigan Collection. There
Quote:
"The Use of Gimp Thread.
Gimp consists of a core thread wrapped with silk or other thread. Traditionally the Miao made it with a core of horsehair wrapped with white silk. Today cotton, hemp, fuse wire and plastic have replaced the horsehair."
Ruth has written the book but much of the research is based on Gina Corrigan's visits to China over about 30 years. She is a very careful researcher and refuses to believe anything until she has checked and re-checked it. Certainly bast fibres are used by the different minority groups, particularly hemp and ramie but I haven't heard about the use of the horse hair plant. I will mention it to Gina and see if she has come across it.

Babycarrier 1 also has thread which has been couched which may be gimp thread (which the Miao as well as the Shui use in their embroidery) although possibly not. I cannot tell if the thread has been 'filled' with a core from the photos.

I attach a couple more photos of the gimp being made by Shui women.

...and a close-up...


Attachments:
File comment: Shui woman making gimp thread 13 may 2005 Ban Miao village, Zhong He township, Sandu county
IMGP2650w.jpg
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File comment: Shui woman making gimp thread 13 may 2005 Ban Miao village, Zhong He township, Sandu county
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File comment: Shui woman making gimp thread 13 may 2005 Ban Miao village, Zhong He township, Sandu county
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File comment: Shui woman making gimp thread 13 may 2005 Ban Miao village, Zhong He township, Sandu county
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Last edited by Pamela on Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: gimp thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:46 pm 
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Greetings Pamela
The combination of Ruth Smith and Gina Corrigan' research and the photos you provided indeed rule out a plant being used - the length and fine nature defintely exclude this. Furthermore, I have closely examined a loose strand and indeed the core is of animal hair and not plant origin.
Regarding baby carrier 1
Quote:
Babycarrier 1 also has thread which has been couched which may be gimp thread (which the Miao as well as the Shui use in their embroidery) although possibly not. I cannot tell if the thread has been 'filled' with a core from the photos.

I have looked at this again - literally under a magnifying glass - and found a loose strand. It appears that the core is made of the same type of thread (?silk?cotton?) as the outer 'wrap'. There appears to be two 'wrapping' threads around the central 'core' thread - all three of which are incredibly fine. Is this then still termed gimp thread? What I can say is that under the magnifying glass the number of work hours that must have been required to complete this carrier is just staggering!


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 Post subject: gimp
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:46 am 
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Iain

I think that it is the fact of having a central core - of whatever make-up - which is the definition of gimp. Gimp is very much a word not in day-to-day use in the English language. I had a look in my Concise Oxford Dictionary - which is a pretty mature volume and is even priced at 25s. (shillings as in £.s.d. pounds, shillings, pence) and published in 1964!
Quote:
gimp, gymp, n. silk, worsted, or cotton twist with cord or wire running through it; fishing-line of silk etc. bound with wire; (Lacemaking) coarser thread outlining design. [f. Du. gimp of unkn. orig.]
I actually wonder if it might be of Indian origin 'gimp' but 'gymp' sounds more Elizabethan (Elizabeth I not II) English to me. However, I see that 'Du' is the dictionary abbreviation for 'Du/tch'.

The dictionary definition of gimp picks up both the construction of the thread and the use of the thread in outlining - both of which are found in S W China.

I am very interested to hear of your examination of babycarrier No 1 - thanks. Yes, such amazing skill and patience and the belief that it is worth the effort. Also, perhaps, based on making the most of what is available in the search for beauty and the demonstration of skill.

What delicious side alleys we explore!!

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Pamela

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:10 am 
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Dear all,

My fat 2005 Oxford dictionary gives for gimp/guimp/gymp (aside from a physially disabled or lame person, and a feeble or contemptible person!)
1. twisted silk, worsted, or cotton with cord or wire running through it, used chiefly as upholstery trimming.
(in lacemaking) coarser thread which forms the outline of the design in some techniques.
2. fishing line made of silk bound with wire.
Origin mid 17th cent. from Dutch, of unknown ultimate origin.

My less illustrious Dutch dictionary (a gimp in the first sense of the word?) does not list the word, except as it is currently colloquially used for gym shoes (gimpies or gympies).
The internet gives a modern computer definition for GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
And further, a textile technique otherwise known (in Dutch) as "nethaken". "Haken" is crochet, and presumably "nethaken" would have to do with the stiches used for making nets. See
http://hobby.blogo.nl/blogo.asp?comments/345/12147/

Might this mean that they used a very interesting kind of line to make their nets?? And what would have been the origin of this kind of line? Southeast Asia??? India? From VOC days?

Cheers,
Sandra

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Sandra Niessen

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:19 am 
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Many thanks, Sandra, for the comment from the Netherlands!

I was just going through my photos of in Zhong He township more carefully and I found this one in the market with evidence that the older style of Shui babycarrier is still being made. The close-up shows a lovely example of gimp being used. Looking carefully it ocule be that this is an older, used example. It may just be that the indigo dyed lining is reusing an older textle. Note the pinapple weave in the red fabric. This weave is quite common amongst the Shui. I am always attracted to it. Having said that, it just might be embroidery - not clear enough to see!


Attachments:
File comment: Shui babycarrier pieces and other traditional embroidery laid out in Zhong He township market, 13 May 2005
IMGP2696w.jpg
IMGP2696w.jpg [ 56.74 KiB | Viewed 10731 times ]
File comment: detail of Shui babycarrier pieces in Zhong He township market, 13 May 2005
IMGP2696ww.jpg
IMGP2696ww.jpg [ 62.75 KiB | Viewed 10731 times ]

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Pamela

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