Tag: Textiles

Celebrating the elaborate costume of China’s Miao community

miaoNottingham’s Chinese New Year celebrations got underway earlier this month with a dazzling display of textiles at Lakeside Arts Centre.

The exhibition, which is curated by Xuesen Zeng, is an homage to the embroidery of the Miao community, who live in south-western China.

The Miao people, who are cut off by the mountains, have no written language so they use highly elaborate garments as a way of identifying their heritage and beliefs. As you might expect, the ceremonial costumes are particularly impressive, for example the wedding and festival dresses are made up of many layers and ornate silver jewellery.

Like many artisan techniques, China’s rapid industrialisation could signal a decline in Miao craftsmanship. Increasingly, people are now working long hours and do not have the time to hand stitch these beautiful clothes. Moreover, if members of the younger generation do not learn these embroidery skills, they could be lost forever.

The exhibition, which is in the Wallner Gallery, runs until 10th February. Entry is free. For more details on the Chinese New Year celebrations in Nottingham visit the Lakeside Arts Centre website.

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From the age of elegance . . . a glimpse into the Abraham Textilarchiv in Zurich

I was lucky enough to catch the last few days of the Soie Pirate exhibition at Zurich’s Landesmuseum,  a collection of pieces from the Abraham Textile Archive.

Throughout the softly-lit rooms there were some wonderful examples of colourful fabric patterns and swatches from the Zurich textile firm Abraham.

The opulent fabrics and timeless designs, most of which date back to the latter part of the 20th Century, perfectly evoked the elegance of the post-War era. The exhibition also draws together various aspects of the textile industry such as the craft of creating fabrics – shown by the printing table – as well as the firm’s links to the fashion world.

And forhigh-end vintage fashion lovers, there were some excellent examples of dresses by Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy and many more using Abraham fabrics.

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