Friday, 23 March 2012

Chinese Treasures

Hi everyone,

Mom, Grandma and I escaped for a day of inspiration yesterday at Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch and Sewing for Pleasure. We think the organisers will be happy as there seemed to be loads of visitors and a great atmosphere. It's an interesting show as it's so varied with lots of different textile disciplines on display. Stephanie we spotted one of your pieces on the Eclectica exhibit!

With Orientation in mind, one of our favourite stands was Slow Loris and we did end up treating ourselves.

 My photos aren't brilliant, but hopefully they give you a flavour of their display.
 Our attention was caught by these wonderful bundles. They are 'sewing bags' from Southern China. They would have one each to keep their sewing threads inside. They were such tactile objects obviously well used, everyday ordinary things, but so lovely.
When unwrapped folded paper compartments are revealed that hold the embroidery threads. As you can see below one still had its threads inside.
We didn't buy one of the sewing bags. Here's what we treated ourselves to...
I've bought lovely things from them before and have added another of these fabulous lengths of handwoven hemp fabric. It's old and would once have been pleated with lots and lots of very fine pleats to make a wraparound skirt. Extra bits of fabric would be added to make it longer if required. The pattern is done with a wax resist technique and if you look close there are actually two different blues used in the dyeing. The other one I have (which I ought to have photographed to show you) is much paler indigo with some bright pink embellishments. Apparently the women would sometimes embroider the skirts to make them even more colourful and decorative.

On the stand they had some skirts which were still pleated and were absolutely gorgeous.
 Mom bought a piece of this beaten indigo. It looks like metal doesn't it? Hard to believe it's fabric. the fabric is indigo dyed but then treated with other things, the recipes vary from tribe to tribe but can include chillies, walnuts and blood. This one was done with egg whites.
I know you're going to ask what we're going to do with our purchases. I might just wear mine as a scarf which is what I've done with the other, although I do have a plan to redecorate my bedroom with an blue colourscheme which could all hinge around this piece of fabric. It's a long way down the list of jobs though! Mom's beaten indigo is so precious it's going to be hard to cut, so for now she's just going to admire it until the right project comes to mind!

Hope you all have a great weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Great purchases! I think that fence that keeps appearing must be a standard Japanese/Chinese design - it keeps cropping up. An interesting motif, possibly.