A Length of Indigo Dyed Hemp: Miao People
4 yards x 11 3/4", 3.65 m x 29.75 cm
This length of beautiful, drapey, tightly woven, indigo dyed hemp cloth is hand made by the Miao people of southern China. The Miao people are extremely well-known for the beauty and ornament of their culture, from elaborate silver headdresses, mammoth cloth head coverings and, probably most especially, for their remarkably beautiful indigo dyed cloth.
This long piece of indigo dyed hemp is decorated with subtle resist dyed work--you can see the faintly resisted parallel lines that have been hand applied before dyeing.
When this cloth is seen in person, there are almost-imperceptible (but quite actual) horizontal crimpings along the length of the cloth, from selvedge to selvedge. The reason for this is that this cloth was used in service of making an elaborately pleated, traditional skirt.
In the center of the channel of white, undyed cloth that is a dominant design feature of the cloth and which runs down the entirety of the cloth, we can see a center pleat and a very pale, lavender-toned shadow that runs along this center pleat, in the center of the channel of white.