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


dotted spiral

dotted spiral

Loincloth Senegal, purchased in Dakar, during the sixties Cotton Donation from Laurence Porgès 71.1984.20.2

The support is an industrial cloth. The lines are tightened for reserve by knot tying which forms two spirals finishing with some larger patterns. The fabric is dyed in an indigo bath and one can see traces of another slightly pink colouring agent.