A Large and Lushly Resist Dyed Miao Folk Cloth: Handwoven Indigo Cotton
mid twentieth century
44" x 80", 111.75 cm x 203 cm
Although we admit to knowing little about the rich culture and the textiles artifacts of the Miao people of southwest China, it is impossible to look at Miao textiles without falling in love with them.
This large sized, hand loomed cotton cloth is just fantastic for its wild and lush resist dyed folk decoration and for its playful depiction of mythical and actual animals, plants and insects.
It also seems to have nice age and good wear, as its two small repairs (shown here) attest to.
The entire cloth is covered in playful resist dyed images.
Central is a huge fan-shaped peony that seems to be sprouting a pair of gigantically symmetrical phoenixes. Large-scale and small butterflies frolic around this central images, the butterflies being both shibori dyed and resisted in the manner of the entire cloth.
A simply drawn bird and fish, both rendered in profile decorate the left hand side of the cloth, while a magical cat is earth-bound and situated on the lower right hand side. A repeating geometric border runs along the bottom of the cloth from side to side.
The cotton is hand loomed and heavy in the hand and the cloth is hand finished on its two short sides.
An absolutely beautiful piece and one with a delightful spirit and life force.