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 for its fiber. 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.
This piece is particularly special with the unique because of the Chinese text with meanings shown in the photos.
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 - L30" when laid out flat- side to side excluding the cord x Length 22"
- Spot clean or gently hand wash with cold water only.
- Colors may differ slightly depending on display devices/monitors.
- This item is shipped for FREE with Thai Post recorded delivery, airmail which takes approx. 2 weeks excluding customs clearance.
UPGRADE TO DHL FOR JUST US$25
Express takes 4-5 days to reach its destination after pick up, excluding any delays at customs (I have not experienced customs delays with DHL up to now)
- UPGRADE RESTRICTIONS PLEASE NOTE- Shipments to remote locations may incur increased shipping fees from DHL (such as inner regions of Canada, Central Australia, etc.). If so I will inform you before sending and we can discuss whether to go ahead.
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