Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
In trying to understand the tribal weavings of Myanmar, I am reading some notes on the technicalities of weaving.
The material that I find on the internet is a complex document aimed at students in a university – students who will make a career out of weaving on mechanised looms. It is complex and certainly a challenge to my limited spatial skills.
And so I wonder once again, how simple tribal people, have created such advanced technology on hand & foot looms. They say their education is incomplete – but that did not seem to come in the way of their weaving technology – either in designing such complex looms* or weaves. So I am dazzled once again by the knowledge that is contained within tribal communities. And I refuse to accept the idea that the lack of “formal” education implies a lack of knowledge. They may not know the capital cities of the world or the classifications of species or linear algebra or names of basic elements. But their knowledge in other fields is certainly vast.
I share my awe of these people, through the skills and technology displayed through their textile art:
Contemporary Handmade Bands
While the front pleases the eye and the back puzzles the mind.
How could the black thread be present simply in the front and not show at all at the back?
And a few more
With this new found mystery I began to read and found out about the ‘additional warp’.
The back of the weave is covered completely in an additional warp that covers up the threads that the weaver did not want to be seen at the back!
With this idea, the looms were developed with an additional warp beam. And a complicated weave structure came into being a few centuries ago in the hilltribes of Myanmar and the surrounding countries.
A look at some similar and more beautiful textiles from the past:
Antique Head Cloth – Myanmar
Another example – the finest in the Wovensouls Collection
This type is one more example that affirms that the art that appeals to me most, is the type that ot only pleases the eye but also holds the mind!
And more images of the Myanmar Textiles may be viewed in the Hilltribe Gallery of Wovensouls.com