Usage – ways of dressing and others
After exploring the different factors that are involved in decorative development, some examples allow the evocation of the role and place that fabrics play in the social life, as marks of identity, such as elements of profane or religious rituals or as vectors of artistic expression.
The majority of decorated fabrics that enter into social rituals, or have a symbolic function with their patterns or colours, are mainly clothing but they can also have other profane or ceremonial uses.
Marital bed cover China, Guizhou, Songtao, Miao, towards 1900 Cotton (spun Z-twist), silk 70.2001.23.46
Besides the fact that costumes of which woven designs or dyes are important marks of identity in the minorities in the south of China, women use these textile pieces intended for other uses. This is the case with marriage sacks, as well as bed covers that will be part of the trousseau of the young married couple. This is carried out in three parts : a central panel of cloth with an additional weft pattern given and stitched in silk, surrounded by two cloth panels. It is here that preparation for the reserves is carried out. Tie-dyeing, zha ran, by sewing a cross piece in rolled 2-ply and by sewing and tying on pinched pleats and then pleated forming an isolated pattern. After reserve, they are dyed black (one can see the bad quality of fixing of the dye). The isolated pattern (sometimes interpreted as a floral or butterfly pattern) is characteristic of the Miao dyeing process in the preparation of reserves. 181x91 cm