Thursday, November 25, 2010

Some beautiful textiles from China

I received a gift for my birthday of some wonderful textiles from China. My friend Di brought them for me from my friend Evelyn Hatch. Evelyn also sent me a1974 Catalog of Winners for Levi's Denim Art Contest.  I had intended to enter that contest with a denim sampler I designed and was finishing up, but I was completing my degree in Archeology, and I had finals that week. I missed the date by one day!  I will post a photo of that denim sampler another time.

For now, I want to focus on these beautiful pieces. I just received.  This red piece is my first favorite. Evelyn wrote something about something getting soaked in water and I am wondering if this piece is the one.  It is a fascinating piece. These stamped images appear to mostly be from different cultures, though we know they are not. The one in the lower center actually is very close to American Southwest Indian designs seen on pottery. And the one on the lower right looks as though it could have come straight from a Baltimore Album quilt. The top right image also could have been American, but the others appear to be more like the Chinese designs with which I am familiar. I love this read. There are splotches of black all over the edges and by the designs themselves, but they add to the beauty of the piece. My first inclination was to want to get some sort of marker and complete the missing lines and them create something from it but I am resisting (with great difficulty) that tendency.

The next two pieces are likely intended as cuffs on a jacket. The embroidery is wonderful and the black cloth is quite stiff and appears to be calendered, or pressed between two rollers, likely copper rollers.  It is somewhat shiny too on the black, which makes the embroidered area look even more interesting. The colors are so rich, and the work so fancy that it makes me wonder if these were made for some important people who would have been likely to wear such decorated fabrics. You can click on each photo to make it larger.

The next two pieces will be shown below and they have even more filled-in embroidery which appears to be silk thread on silk fabrics. The colors of the pieces are just beautiful, and again, I suspect that these were intended to be some part of some pretty elegant garments. This embroidery is truly solid and the stitching is impeccable.  It would have been very wonderful to have seen the actual garments.

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