I think I've mentioned my family's affinity for stripes before. A few of us are such fans that an upholsterer who has done work for different members once asked, "What's up with all the stripes?"
In Dhurries, Nada Chaldecott talks about India's long-term love affair with stripes. Large striped floor-coverings can be seen in centuries-old Indian paintings, she notes, and of all the patterned flat-woven Indian mats, striped versions are the most iconic. British colonials favored stripes, too.
[Storyteller, dancer and musician from 'The Fraser Album', circa 1810-20. Dhurries.]
For the beginning weaver, stripes offer an easier way to experiment with more than one color.
Chaldecott attributes the popularity of blue-and-white stripes to several factors, one being the association with water: "...the supreme importance of water and its cooling effect, often represented in Indian miniatures."
I haven't attempted any weaving but I did paint some modest, intentionally imperfect stripes on cotton. Mainly I did it for the instant gratification. Inspired by combinations of blues seen in Indian dhurries, I used painter's tape to mark off the pattern and applied textile ink with a sponge (results sewn into a pillow, shown at top). The Long Thread offers a great roundup of tutorials related to practical aspects of painting, stenciling and dip-dying fabric. And Martha offers a basic fringe refresher here. (To make longer fringe, simply pull more threads.) After something more textural? Click here to read instructions for making a pillow with a striped flat-woven rug.
[The square pillows are Peter Dunham's Kashmir Paisley. Bench is covered in Dzhambul from Brunschwig & Fils.]
I'm tempted to paint a striped border on a lampshade, but with one existing homemade block-print pillow now accompanied by the larger stripes, I don't want to over-do the DIY elements in one room.
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century at the High. Apart from two well-known pictures of Matisse with his textiles, Cartier-Bresson's photographs of the East were what I had to see first. On my initial sweep through the gift shop, I didn't spot a postcard reproduction of Tiruvannamalai, India, but I did leave with a striking portrait captured in a leafy, sub-tropical local: Truman Capote, New Orleans, 1947.
Loosely related past post: Looking Ahead: Delaunay Show to Open March 2011.