Colour and patterns

Colour is the most immediately visible stylistic element. The two-colour or polychrome process depends on the number of dye baths which follow the preparation of reserves.  Formerly exclusively natural, dyes today are often synthetic.  The choice of colour is associated with symbolism of the colours and this aspect is equally referred to here.


Some original patterns come from reserve-dyeing processes and are revealed by playing with the colours.

  • indigo


  • parrot green

    parrot green

  • red


  • colour symbolism

    colour symbolism

  • ochre and brown

    ochre and brown

  • multicoloured


  • paint highlights

    paint highlights

  • dotted spiral

    dotted spiral

  • circular pattern

    circular pattern

  • figurative dotted lines

    figurative dotted lines

  • irregular line design

    irregular line design

  • sewing on pleats

    sewing on pleats

  • geometric representation, sowing

    geometric representation, sowing

  • figurative


geometric representation, sowing

geometric representation, sowing

Scarf, kiet Cambodia, Kandaal Province, 20th century Silk Bernard Dupaigne Mission 71.1970.61.30

The design was the work of specialist Muslims, probably women (Cham and Malay). The scarves make up part of the Muslim women’s costume, but can equally be used during Khymer celebrations. The border pattern distinguishes the Cambodian product designs from those of Sumatra. Taffeta, dyed after reserve by stitching before gathering (lozenge-shaped and lines) and by tying knots (small circles). Two dye baths : red, then indigo blue creating by superimposition a dark brown shade. Application of various colouring agents. 216x77 cm