This weeks Band group gems! That’s a very stylish supermarket bag by Jane using plain inkle weave to great effect. The 3 colour Baltic pick up band was woven and designed by Patrick who has unearthed this rarely used technique. He is a whizz with the software for designing patterns- check out raktres.net #inkleloom#spinweavevic#bandweaving#handweaversofinstagram#backstraploom
The stunning red & blue/black of the Ao mekhala & shawl was achieved by using dyes derived from Assam indigo & madder in the olden days. Only women dyed & wove, each passing on the secrets of this art to her daughters. Of all the sources I have consulted, I have always admired Sentila Yanger's thoughtful, methodical & nuanced documentation. I hope one day she will publish her encyclopaedic knowledge of Ao textiles. Till then, here are a few interesting details - it was believed that the red of the madder marked the dyer's head for head hunters. So only old women - widows, spinsters took the risk of dying yarn red as their loss was somehow more bearable for the village as a whole. Ironic considering that this very same red yarn was also used to weave the iconic Ao warrior shawl for men, Tsungkotepsü - worn only by the bravest (of men). Which always makes me wonder, who is braver? The man who earns this shawl or the woman who, knowing that red marks her for death, still labours & dyes yarn for a valour shawl, she knows she can never wear.
Accessorised with @inlasgenesis earrings