I had not expected to see all these wonderful textiles as part of this exhibition. They are so old, some over 2,000 years, yet they are still as bright and perfect as though they were made yesterday.
As I said yesterday, photography was not allowed so the images of the pieces that I am writting about all come from the catalogue. I was not alone in wanting to know the technical details of how the pieces were made, I spoke to a number of other visitor who felt the same, and I find it frustrating that the gallery (and other galleries) think that their customers are not interested in or would have the knowledge to appreciate this.
Off my soapbox. This first piece is a very old, 500AD - 700AD, patchwork from the Nazca culture. When I read Nazca I first thought of those huge line drawings in the desert.
I was attracted by the colours of this piece and considering it's age they are so bright. Much of the patterning is achieved by tie dyeing the fabric.
This just looks as though all the pieces are sewn together like a modern patchwork but the construction is much more complex than that. The catalogue quotes Rebecca Stone-Miller, (see reference at the end of this post) who says that these pieces were woven together. This technique is unique in the history of world textiles, making the piece so much more than just an old piece of patchwork.
I also scanned a black and white image to show where the fabric has been joined.
Rebecca Stone-Miller,To weave for the sun: Ancient Andean textiles in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston and London: Museum of Fine Arts and Thames and Hudson 1994, p 101