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 Post subject: Elusive skirtcloth
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
I recently acquired this in the hope of learning more about it. It was sold as a Karen blanket, but clearly it is a skirtcloth that has been opened up, and I'm not sure it is Karen. It comprises two cotton panels sewn together and oriented with the warp horizontal; the seam is carefully embellished with zigzag stitching; the seeds are placed in ornamental patterns, and all sewing is by hand. The soft colors could be from natural dyes. The most curious part is the woven pattern of diamonds in the warp, on alternating bands- the technique is not typically Karen, nor are the colors. Thoughts? Or might anyone have anything similar in their collections?


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Mail-TAB202_Detail_2.jpg
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Mail-TAB202_Detail_4.jpg
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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Hi Susan

What an interesting textile. Is it very faded? Is the reverse brighter? I am wondering about the original colour of the dyes. I love the, what I tend to refer to as, 'pineapple weave' - the diamond weave. A nice example. Interesting to see the different coloured warp stripe in the centre of each diamond. The seeds are nicely and finely applied. If there were no seeds I don't think it would have come with any Karen attribution and I certainly don't feel that they make in Karen who, I think, usually use the seeds on their blouses. I don't recall seeing this more complex weave in Karen textiles and I don't think it suits their looms?

Will be a nice one to trawl for in the literature (or collections/experience).

A nice example to share with us - thanks!

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:27 am
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Hi Susan,

I like the piece. I think it is from one of the Chin group tribes. They certainly have the technique to do it, which the Karen really don't. I think you have to backtrack such a piece to see who in Northern Burma has the technique in their repertoire.

Bill Hornaday


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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I was very pleased today to receive an email from Neil and Digna Ryan. Neil sai:

Quote:
I noted Susan Stem’s thread entitled “Elusive Skirtcloth” showing an outstanding textile. We believe that the textile is Kayin (Karen) – possibly S’gaw Kayin and we have similar pieces in our collection:

The following have Job ’s tears seeds attached in similar patterning to Susan’s skirt, though the skirts themselves are dissimilar. Not sure if the addition of seeds is traditional or just added to gain commercial advantage in order to achieve a sale?

15040 (93 x 155cm)
15041 (90 x 148cm)

The following have similar layout and patterning to Susan’s piece:

15043 (89.5 x 141cm) – newer piece, possibly aniline dyes
15044 (101 x 144cm) – older piece, handspun cotton and possibly natural dyes
15045 (86 x 146cm) – handspun cotton
15046 (96 x 136cm) – similar to 15043/4/5, but with different configuration of stripes, including additional warp ikat stripes adjacent the joining selvedges

We hope this helps solve the puzzle...

Best wishes,

Neil and Digna

The email has several images attached as referenced above which I am duly adding to this post.

I am not sure whether Neil and Digna's Kayin textiles were collected in Myanmar but this is a major focus of their textile collection. I have emailed Neil to check this and will, of course, share any response with the forum.

(I feel it is appropriate that this post from Neil and Digna follows Bill Hornaday's post on this thread of Susan's as it was Digna, who in Feb 2004, just after Susan had pretty much identified Bill's fascinating woven bag as Kachin (and possibly Jingpho) posted an image of the Ryan's beautiful example. http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... 8&start=15 )

My thanks to Neil for this thoughtful and detailed information. (Should anyone wonder how there are so many images on one post when normally the forum only allows 5 with any post it is because, as administrator, the forum bends the rules for me!)


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File comment: (93 x 155cm)
15040.jpg
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File comment: detail
15040 Detail.jpg
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File comment: (90 x 148cm)
15041.jpg
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File comment: detail
15041 Detail.jpg
15041 Detail.jpg [ 135.63 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]
File comment: (89.5 x 141cm) – newer piece, possibly aniline dyes
15043.jpg
15043.jpg [ 73.7 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]
File comment: detail
15043 Detail.jpg
15043 Detail.jpg [ 115.19 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]
File comment: (101 x 144cm) – older piece, handspun cotton and possibly natural dyes
15044.jpg
15044.jpg [ 54.47 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]
File comment: detail
15044 Detail.jpg
15044 Detail.jpg [ 87.45 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]
File comment: (86 x 146cm) – handspun cotton
15045.jpg
15045.jpg [ 63.38 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]
File comment: detail
15045 Detail.jpg
15045 Detail.jpg [ 109.04 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]
File comment: (96 x 136cm) – similar to 15043/4/5, but with different configuration of stripes, including additional warp ikat stripes adjacent the joining selvedges
15046.jpg
15046.jpg [ 73.3 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]
File comment: detail
15046 Detail.jpg
15046 Detail.jpg [ 116.37 KiB | Viewed 4041 times ]

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Re origin of the Kayin textiles - Neil has kindly responded overnight with:
Quote:
"In response to your query about the origin of the textiles – they were all purchased from dealers in Yangon and Mandalay between 2002 and 2005."

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
By Jove! I think you've got it!
Many thanks to Neil and Digna for sharing their knowledge and photos. What a treat to not only solve my mystery, but to see some more nice examples of these pieces. I have one more question: where in Burma do you think these originate? When I check my books on Karen people in Burma there is nothing like these textiles. The Karen are in eastern Burma, adjacent to Thailand, but spread out all along that border and to the west. Have you been to that area? I haven't, so hence the questions.

Re Pamela's question about fading: I don't think it has faded much. One cannot really tell by looking at the back, tho, because of the way it's woven, with the pattern and color most evident on the front in the raised warp threads- curiously, even the red stripes are darker on the front.

Thank you to everyone for their comments and insights.

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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