Archives for posts with tag: fabric exhibition

Patch work is a piece of fabric formed by little pieces of fabric.  The idea of patchwork started early in ancient Egypt and northern China, possibly because of the shortage of material and the cold climate.  It was later developed as an art in Renaissance Europe and then became a popular during the period of new settlement in America.  The patchwork quilt at one time was the symbol of reminiscence of their mother countries.

In China, patchwork is called the “hundred swatch quilt”.  Upon a child first birthday, village friends and neighbors would each contribute a swatch of fabric, old or new, to the child as a present.  The mother would then patch these pieces of fabric to make a vest or a small quilt for her child, depending on the quantity she acquired.  The vest or quilt is supposed to embrace hundred of blessins and render the child a happy and healthy life.

Step by step guide for making a patchwork quilt from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.


Discharge technique in fabric is to make the design pattern on dyed fabric by chemical means.  Diluted sulfuric acid agent is painted with a brush directly on the indigo dyed fabric.  Chemical reaction takes place as the acidic agent get in contract with the indigo dye.  The acidic agent will then discharge the indigo pigment, leaving a white pattern.  This method of pattern making allows more freedom in expression.  But most of the time, stencils are used in production because of labour.  The discharge fabric is finally rinsed in an alkaline bath to remove the acidic remains.

Here is a DIY version of the same technique, you can try it at home!

Discharge Dye Fabric are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in our Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.

This simplest kind of tied dye is by pinching up certain spots of a plain fabric, wrapped with thread or string and then putting the fabric to dye.  The wrapped areas resist the dye from getting in and thus form a white pattern in an indigo background.

Other than the above method, tied dye can achieve different effect by folding, pleating, stitching and twisting.

Tied Dye Fabric are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in the Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.

The term brocade to the Chinese denotes mostly brocades woven by the minorities in Guang Xi province, the Miao tribe, Dong tribe (Gaeml) and Yao tribe in particular.  The characteristic of these brocades are their vibrant colour combination and interesting geometric designs.  To achieve these means that they have to have several shuttles for different colour yarns and a special designed jacquard hand loom.

During the Ming dynasty, these minority brocades were articles of royal appointment tribute.  In the past, young girls by the age of 10 would have to start weaving a brocade of her own design and this would become her dowry for her wedding later on.  Motifs of brocade mostly are cloud, water, fish, bird and floral.  Brocades are used as quilt cover, wall hanging, cushion, head dress and belt etc.

Brocade Samples are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in the Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.

Wax resist is generally known as Batik.  Apart from Indonesia, south west region of China is believed to be one of the early development area of wax resist dye according to recent excavation reports.

Molten wax held in a special wax pen is used to draw design directly on plain fabric as a resist.  After the drawing work, the fabric is then put into a drying vat.  As wax is a brittle substance, dye gets through minor cracks which gives a characteristic batik result.

Si Chuan and Gui Zhou provences in China are well known places for wax resist dye fabric.

Wax Resist Dye Fabric are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in the Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.

In China, the technique of lime / bean paste resist dye has a long history of 1300 years.  It is commonly known as “indigo print” all over the country.

The basic technique involved the application of lime and bean paste as a resist material.  A paper stencil, permeated with “tung oil” for the purpose of water proofing, is placed over the plain fabric where the lime / bean paste is applied.  The fabric is then dripped into an indigo vat.  The paste resist is scraped off to reveal the white design pattern.

Also see step by step guide from Hulu10.

Lime/Bean Paste Dye Fabric are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in the Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.

The technique of ikat dyeing starts before the actual weaving begins.  Certain yarn on the warp is wrapped up with thread or string.  When the dye applied to the warp, the wrapped up part form a resist to the dye.  Threads are then removed, leaving an area of undyed yarn.  It is then ready to be woven into cloth.  Because of the unevenness of the warp wrapping, the woven result has a characteristic ikat effect.

Ikat weaving is particularly laborious as the pattern is often pictorial, the warp has to be loaded on the weaving loom before carefully tying up the pattern.  After dying the warp has to be loaded but on the loom at the same location before weaving.

Indonesia ikat are a precious and sacred fabric use in ceremony.

Samples of ikats are shown at the Mountain Folkcraft shop in our Something New Something Old exhibition with Soil.

We are having a joint venture with Soil which will start tomorrow.
Mountain Folkcraft will be focusing on fabric items while Soil will be on other craft objects.
Do come visit both shops!


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