WorkingsRaw Materials: Protein fibresRaw Materials: Cellulosic fibresRaw Materials: Synthetic fibresMaking textiles without threads: felt and bark clothMaking Thread: combing, carding and spinningAdding ColourMaking textiles without looms: braiding, knitting, knottingLaceMaking textiles with loomsTextiles to clothe the worldPutting the pieces together: piecing and quiltingEmbroiderySurface PrintingResist Patterning: batik, plangi, ikatMaking Baskets

Dress (jumlo)

Many animals use materials to create their homes, but homo sapiens is the only animal that uses materials to make coverings for their bodies. The primary purpose of these coverings is to keep warm. Sometime very early in our history, factors such as modesty and body adornment came into play. In every culture the garments we make to cover our bodies send complex and fascinating messages about ourselves: from the most banal – “I like pink” – to the most profound – “I share the ancient values of my ancestors and community.”

Where was this textile created?

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Textiles to clothe the world

Dress (jumlo)
Asia: South Asia, Pakistan, Northwest Frontier Province, Indus Kohistan
1950 - 1960
Cotton, silk, buttons, beads, woven and embroidered
85 cm x 160 cm
T04X0001 Textile Museum of Canada

Most garments are made from cut-and-pieced fabric by shaping a two-dimensional plane of cloth onto a three-dimensional form – the human body. The shaping is to allow for ease of movement, but the number of triangular pieces or gores that fan out from the lower part of this dress goes well beyond what is needed for comfort.

In every culture, clothing is used as a billboard for communicating symbols, patterns and meanings – both obvious and esoteric. Afghanis use dresses such as this one, covered with protective talismans, while North Americans use T-shirts and sports jerseys.

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