Discontinuous Warp and Weft Textile Fragment with Geometric DesignPre-Hispanic
ca. 100 - ca. 1530
19 11/16 x 12 13/16 x 1/16 in. (50 x 32.5 x 0.2 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2000.3.171
Geography: South America, Peru, Andes (Coast)
Classification: Unclassifiable Artifacts; Artifact Remnants; Cloth Fragments
Culture/Nationality: Peruvian, Latin American, South American
Collection: Ward M. Canaday Collection
This textile is a study in simplicity of design and technical mastery. Though many textiles woven in discontinuous warp and weft are intensely colored, polychromy was not always sought. This textile, a subtle checkerboard composed mainly of blocks of monochrome natural browns, with deep indigo used sparingly, highlights the value and expressive meaning of the structure itself. This use of discontinuous warp and weft symbolizes the Andean value placed on the essence of a cloth, sometimes over perceptible appearance. The process production of the textiles themselves was majorly important. The detailed technical aspects of the textile structure seems to have carried just as much significance for the pre-hispanic cultures as did its appearance and imagery.
This object has the following keywords:
checker pattern*, cotton*, geometric patterns, geometric shape*, indigo*, Peruvian*, repetition*, South American*, square*, textiles*, warp*, weft*
- checker pattern - A bold geometric pattern of regularly placed alternating squares or lozenges of contrasting colors or textures.
- cotton - Textile made from cotton fiber.
- geometric patterns
- geometric shape - Shape characterized by regular shapes or patterns that are determined, constructed, or formed according to geometry.
- indigo - A natural dark blue colorant obtained from the tropical Indigofera tinctoria plants. The use of indigo was first mentioned in Indian manuscripts in the 4th century BCE; it was first exported to Europe in Roman times. The natural material is collected as a precipitate from a fermented solution of the plant, where the coloring component, indigotin, is extracted as a colorless glycoside that turns blue with oxidation. Indigo is a fine, intense powder which may be used directly as a pigment in oil, tempera, or watercolor media. Since the exposed pigment can fade rapidly in strong sunlight, it is rarely used in art or fine textiles today. However, it is still used to dye jeans, where its fading and uneven coloring have become favorable characteristics.
- Peruvian - Of or belonging to the nation of Peru or its people.
- repetition - As an artistic concept, the characteristic within a composition where a form, line, color, or other compositional element is repeated to cause unity or for another purpose.
- South American - Refers to the cultures of the continent of South America, which is bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Central America, and the Antarctic region.
- square - Having the form or outline of a square, a four-sided plane figure with four equal sides and four right angles.
- textiles - General term for carpets, fabrics, costume, or other works made of textile materials, which are natural or synthetic fibers created by weaving, felting, knotting, twining, or otherwise processing. For works of art or high craft that employ textile as a medium, prefer "textile art (visual works)."
- warp - In weaving, the threads that are extended lengthwise in the loom, usually twisted harder than the "weft," with which these threads are crossed to form the web or piece.
- weft - The aggregate of transverse strands of a textile, woven through the warp. Specifically for individual strands of weft, prefer "picks (weft)."
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
- Elena Phipps, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth (Los Angeles, CA: The Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2013), 58-63.
- Elena Phipps and Ann Peters. Pre-Columbian Textile Conference VII (Lincoln, NE: Zea Books, 2017), 171-173.
- William J. Conklin, "Structure as Meaning in Andean Textiles." Chungara: Revista de Antropología Chilena 29, no. 1 (1997): 109-131.
- Penelope Dransart, Textiles, Technical Practice and Power in the Andes (London, England: Archetype Publications, 2013), 220-222.
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