Tag Archives: China

Check out our New Website!

It has been a while since I have posted on this blog. I have been busy sourcing antique and vintage fabrics and dyeing katazome textiles. I have also been working on a new website and blog. Please visit our new website for blog posts on antique Japanese textiles and my new indigo dye projects. We also have a shop where you can purchase fabrics and  an experiences page where you can learn about upcoming classes and textile tours.   Visit the new website at: www.nsomerstextiles.com

Antique Miao blankets


These images come from six antique Miao blankets. all of the blankets are cotton and they have all been dyed using indigo.  Freehand drawing and stencil methods of resist dying have been employed to create the designs on these blankets. two different weaving patterns have been used to create the cotton base fabrics. The two older blankets are woven with a plain weave and the four remaining have a diamond pattern that is traditional to the Miao of Guizhou provience, China. IMG_2370IMG_2367IMG_2369IMG_2371IMG_2372IMG_2373IMG_2374IMG_2375IMG_2376IMG_2378

This photo comes from a book titled Lost China. The blanket hanging behind the man in the photo is simular in construction, narrow strips of fabric, and in the use of stencil resist designs to the older blankets shown above.

Antique Miao batik


This is a panel from a Miao baby sling. The Miao live in southern China and represent a distinct ethnic minority in China. I purchased several of these fabrics while traveling in China a few years ago and I think this one is about 80 or 90 years old. The machine produced cotton has been dyed with natural indigo and the design was created using a resist process that employed a wax taken from the sweet gum tree. The process of this batik style has been extensively documented by Sadae and Tomoko Torimaru in their book Imprints On Cloth. They say this intricate form of batik comes from the North Western part of Guizhou province.IMG_2248IMG_2249

This last photo shows just how intricate the batik pattern is. In this example it almost looks like lace. This “lace” portion of the fabric is really only about one inch wide.IMG_2246

In some places the batik has been embellished with green, red and yellow cotton floss. Torimaru notes that this is a common addition to batik from NW Guizhou.IMG_2250IMG_2247IMG_0359

These Miao houses were near the village where I purchased these panels. It was July when I was there. It was extremely hot and the landscape was an almost other worldly green.IMG_0370