Vintage Japanese textile from my collection

Andean knitted cap from my collection

See the BLUE exhibit scheduled to run for another month at the Textile Museum, 2320 S Street, NW Washington, DC. The show includes fragments of Greco-Roman and PreColumbian textiles, but my real interest is the work of of artists Hiroyuki Shindo, who grows and processes his indigo to make patterned textiles using the shibori method dating back to the 8th. century CE. While kanoko shibori may be considered the equivalent of western tie-dye or bound-resist, muira, humo, nui and arashi shibori include looped binding, stitching and binding, pleating, and wrapping sections of cloth around a pole in order to create a pattern.

My own small collection of vintage textiles includes few lengths of shiboridyed fabric from Japan, as well as a few Andean knitted and woven pieces. I cherish the creative and the work that went into making them and that is why the prospect of seeing a carefully curated exhibit appeals to me. Junior, an avid knitter who dyes yarn with flowers grown for that purpose, shares my interest both exhibits. I think we will wait until school is in session again. I find museums more enjoyable without the strident presence of busloads of children and teachers. Not that I dislike children. It is just that for me, looking at textiles is a meditative occupation. I recall only too clearly a kimono exhibit I attended some years at the National Art Gallery. The kimonos were glorious, but it was impossible to focus on anything but children running around, teachers loudly admonishing running children. As for loud adults who run around making loud comments in museums, well, I find them unpleasant too. Perhaps I have a provincial’s reverence for art. Perhaps I am on my way to becoming a curmudgeon. Whatever.
Quiet is best. Quiet is best. Quite is best. Quiet is best. Quiet is best, @#$%^&!

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