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.
Table cloth, tamendilt Algeria, Kabylie, Bou Saada, Kabyle, end of 19th century Hand spun yarn, Z-twist 71.1970.39.2
These table cloths can be found in Kabylie, Aures and Mzab in Algeria, as well as Morocco. The terms tamendilt, almendil, tamandilit are Berber in origin and derive from the Arabic word mendil, which means a napkin or, more broadly, a cloth of undetermined usage. In fact they have multiple uses. In daily life they are used to cover food or for drying up. They equally have a more ceremonial usage during the offering of food. The design is always made up of circles which stand out on a red background. The circles on the tablecloth collected in Morocco by Jeanne Jouin at the beginning of the thirties (71.1932.66.35) are not coloured and one can only think that it was the pattern generally used before the widespread use of synthetic dyes. From information given by the collector, it would appear that the design also served to conceal defects in the cloth. Reserves by knot tying are made on the barré cloth, followed by partial dyeing for orange and green, and a dark red dye (perhaps with a natural colouring agent) at the same time. 95x86 cm