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.
Woman’s skirt Mexique, Queretaro State, Vizrron de Montes, middle of 20th century Otomi, Métis-Otomi Wool (strong Z-twist), cotton Donation from Guy Stresser-Péan 71.1955.84.552
In the Hidalgo and Queretaro States in Mexico, the Otomi women prepared their reserves by sewing and tying for the design of clothes from woollen fabric until the middle of the 20th century. For this purpose they used agave thread (ixtle). The shape, design and colours suggest that it was a popular version of the Chinese Pueblan skirt of the 18th and 19th centuries. This expression dates from the 19th century and refers to the legend of a slave during the 17th century who had been sold to a merchant from Puebla. In its current meaning, it represents what is considered as the traditional clothing worn by women, in particular during patriotic celebrations, although its usage has always been limited to the towns in the centre and south-east of the country, and has since disappeared. The Chinese Pueblan skirt carried a geometric and floral design. The strong twist of the wool produced a crepe fabric. The design is produced by the preparation of a reserve by tying (atado), sewing (cosido) and by concealment. The dyeing is done in two successive baths of natural colouring agents : cochineal for the red, then indigo for the blue. It is worth noting that Spanish words have replaced the native words in order to name the processes (see V. Davis in the catalogue). 106x93 cm