Hmong women weave hemp into a sturdy textile. They use a wax resist technique and indigo dye to create their beautiful blue and white geometric textile art.
Dipping a little metal stylus into a pot of hot wax and used it to draw slowly and deliberately onto the hemp. Very regularly, they would put the little pot back on the coal to keep it at just the right temperature.
After the entire strip of fabric is designed with wax, it will be dyed with indigo several times to produce a deep blue color. The wax is then boiled away and the finished textile remains. According to a folk tale, at a point in time the Hmong were not allowed to have a written language so the women hid letters in their textiles. There is much symbology remaining in the designs used on the wax resist (and appliqué and embroidery) such as a snail pattern symbolizing family and an elephant’s footprint signifying prosperity.
– Material: Hemp, Cotton
– Technique: Appliqué, Batik, Embroidered
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