Elizabeth Wayland Barber .......Women's Work:
Thanks Bill for these links- can't wait to have some time to sit and listen to them both! and for finding those early plaids...
I don't know if you have read any of Victor Mair's excellent books on the discovery of these ancient ancestral tombs. I've attached a video of each for those who have not heard of proto indo-europeans and their amazing matriarchal society
David, tweed is totally a land colour map as well, just a difference in how the color are blended- before or after spinning/weaving and speaks to having a different making process.
Would tweed not be a better represtantive of colours of a place rather than a kilt or tartan ?
Julia Winter wrote:That got me wondering: how do you dye wool black?
Erica Wisner wrote:Another fun aspect of Scottish woolens is that some of the lichen-based dyes are credited with having moth-repellent properties. (I can't find the reference now, but I believe it was something about lichen-dyed tweeds, which suggests crottal lichens like parmelia-saxatilis.)
I suppose it could be other elements added during dying (some of the lichen-based purple dyes were made with all kinds of other additives like saltpeter and arsenic).
I suspect our Letharia Vulpina might have similar properties; it's supposed to be very toxic to meat-eating animals (afflicts their liver), and I would suppose a protein-eating wool moth might be susceptible as well.
thanks for the research time-in Alistair! it all makes sense doesn't it? I love it when you do something just because it is what makes sense- based on what is available and practical process methods- and from that one can piece together how others might have worked so long ago.... a nice feeling of connection to past makers!
Alistair MacKinnon wrote:Your instincts are correct.. there are quite a few websites on the history of tartan and the dyes of place. Its not called plaid over here, that is actually the garment that is wrapped around, it is tartan; but the meaning of that word is not yet sure. Irish French Spanish sources have been put forward.
"Tartan only started to be used as a means of Scottish clan identification during the 19th century, but historians believe that in ancient times people could tell what area of Scotland someone was from by the shade of the dyes that were used in their clothing.
Natural dyes were produced from lichen, bark, or berries of plants and trees. Because the weavers were restricted to the colours they could produce from the local vegetation, tartans produced in the area were frequently made in the same colours and frequently even in the same pattern.
Julia Winter wrote:My mother's Scottish clan (Menzies, pronounced Ming-us in the Highlands) is very old, with a very simple tartan of just white and black.
John Saltveit wrote:I have heard that the pattern is originally from a particular area and family. In Guatemala, which also does amazing things with fabrics and colors, the pattern shows which village you come from. It's considered actually disrespectful for someone to come in and stay somewhere for a month as a visitor and "declare" themselves to be from that village. Buying it and wearing it elsewhere is of course respectful.
thanks so much for this! totally enjoyed Elizabeth's talk and so many more techniques to learn! awesome to imagine weft twining dates back 25 000 years ago, thanks again for sharing- thought I would listen while I spun- but was so mesmerized I had to leave my wheel and was glued to my monitor.
Bill Bradbury wrote:Hi Sharon,
I have been intrigued by the dessicated corpses found in the Taklamakan desert. They seem to be the best source for looking back into our past culture. I don't know if you have read any of Victor Mair's excellent books on the discovery of these ancient ancestral tombs. I've attached a video ...
Sharon Kallis wrote:
really interesting Erica to learn about lichen moth repellant properties- I have heard that paper scrolls 1000's of years old have been found in caves in China- uneaten by insects, because the paper was dipped in a berberine solution as an insect repellent. a yellow dye! roots of berberis, or the bark/roots of oregon grape- that strong yellow colour- is berberine- great to know not only is it a dye, but also an insect repellant!
Josephine Howland wrote:I've also read that the various designs in Irish knit sweaters were used to identify families. This was so if a fisherman's body was found at sea or washed up on shore they could identify the family the person belonged to.