I wanted to add a few photos I took whilst visiting the famous Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford. It’s a treasure chest of hand crafted antiquities from around the world, some from ancient cultures no longer with us.
I was particularly interested in the textiles, first I came across a large glass cabinet filled with strap style looms. The warps feature binding that suggests these yarns were being prepared for Ikat dyeing. (Something I would love to try but it is very time intensive).
There were a few embroidery pieces this peacock cloth caught my eye. The colours and the flowers are just divine.
Baskets and bags woven using grasses and leaves, it surprises me that a utility item would be given such ornate decoration unless for sale or identification. Though if they were to gather or store seed or herbs/spices they would have been housing some of the most precious (and most valuable) resources and therefore worthy of such decoration perhaps.
some colours may have faded over time due to exposure to sunlight (natural dyes) but this bead work seemed to be as bold as the day they were sewn. But glass is not as susceptible to fading as textiles. I would have been very proud to have worn such beautiful gloves, I wonder if they were a gift (some cultures give decorative mittens as wedding gifts to new family members). Those cuffs I could wear all year round.
I looked for a book in the shop that related specifically to the textile collection (to help answer some of my ponderings) but there wasn’t one.