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


figurative dotted lines

figurative dotted lines

Fragment Central Coast of Peru, Chancay Culture (around 1100 1450) Cotton, strong S-twist Donation from Raoul d’Harcourt 71.1951.1.2

This fragment was part of a larger panel. As with other samples, it has been used in the major work of identification and classification carried out by Raoul d’Harcourt. 2-ply cloth (2-ply lining) The reserves prepared by knotting and tying, form circles of two sizes, give an hominoid pattern. Several series of tying, followed by three dye baths of beige, brown and dark brown contribute to giving depth and a certain dynamism to the pattern. 44x34 cm