This striking vintage skirt is a rare hmong textile from the ethnic groups of the mountainous regions of southern china, bordering northern vietnam and laos. The long process of making one of these skirts begins with harvesting the hemp and cotton for the fibers. Through a series of steps, the fibers are gathered then hand spun and handwoven into long strips on narrow backstrap looms. Traditionally only the elder hmong woman will be skilled and practiced enough in the art of hand painting their beautiful symbolic patterns and motives onto the hemp fabric with wax.The motives tell stories of everyday life and can also indicate the status of the person who will wear the finished garment. When the patterns are complete the pieces are dipped into the indigo dye which is mixed with very cold water to helps the color fix deeply into the hemp fibers. This is repeated multiple times to achieve the desired shade of blue. After soaking the fabric in the dye the pieces are boiled to remove the wax from the fabric surface revealing the stunning, contrasting blue and white pattern.
Again a process that is repeated multiple times. The young women of the village are then passed these pieces to appliqué embroider colorful designs and patterns. Eventually, after all these steps and several weeks of preparation, these amazing works of art are hand-sewn as skirts with pleating that is so intricately sewn that it will survive many years of being worn daily. The hmong believe that when they pass away they must be buried in 100% organic hemp or cotton so that they are returned naturally to the soil and to the earth.
These days it is easy to find replicas of these textiles which are made in a more cost-effective and less time-consuming manner by block printing onto cotton. The printed cotton still looks great as a cheaper alternative but nothing can compare to the original creations. In my opinion, they are textile masterpieces. This piece is vintage circa the 70s. It is the real deal, not a newly made reproduction so please expect some imperfections.
These imperfections are the heart, soul, and history of these old and rare textiles. They are strikingly beautiful just as they are. Size - l32" when laid out flat- side to side excluding the cord x length 21".
Spot clean or gently hand wash with cold water only. Colors may differ slightly depending on display devices/monitors.
If so i will inform you before sending and we can discuss whether to go ahead. If you would like to double-check before ordering just send me a message, thank you. Feel from to message me with any questions.Many more in my store. This item is made of embroidery and cotton, hemp, hand sewn, hand loomed, organic indigo, wax batik, handwoven, hand spun.