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

Shoulder cloth (slendang)

“Resist” patterns arise from efforts to exclude colour from parts of a cloth’s surface. This is done by either applying paste (adire), applying wax (batik), or by stitching and gathering or tightly tying areas of the cloth (tritik, plangi and shibori are some of the terms for this technique). After the resist is completed, the cloth is dyed. Sometimes resist patterning involves dyeing in several colours, as in this slendang.

Where was this textile created?

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Resist Patterning: batik, plangi, ikat

Shoulder cloth (slendang)
Asia: South East Asia, Indonesia, Sumatra, Sumatera Selatan, Palembang
Early 20th century
Silk, tie-dyed
219 cm x 80 cm
Gift of Dr. Aris Slesars
T85.0381 Textile Museum of Canada

In Sumatra, fine silk is tied (plangi) or gathered with stitches (tritik) to make detailed and brilliant designs such as those in this slendang, or shoulder cloth. If you look closely at the cloth you can see the pierced holes of the needle’s path. The boteh, or paisley pattern, is an ancient motif of Indian or Persian origin.

Examples of resist-patterned textiles date from the 4th century AD in Coptic Egypt, and the 8th century AD in coastal Peru. The tie-dyed T-shirt is a popular and up-to-the-minute street style with hipsters everywhere.

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