It seems like only a few days have passed since my excursion to the Denver Art Museum for the extensive fabric collection in Spun: Adventures in Textiles. As I recall my journey through exhibits of exotic prints, bright colors, and beautiful embroidery, I delight in seeing how all the individual textiles are woven together and the designs created illustrate a deeper understanding. With each set of prints, a new set of symbols has a meaning that is brought to life.
Prints from London in the 1950s are playful and bright as the saturated colors dance before my eyes. Some prints are quite angular, but the sharpness of lines are not harsh; with the vivid yellows and oranges they become more lively and exuberant. One of my favorite prints has coral and light blue flowers that whimsically cover the fabric. I can’t help but want every dress made from these prints for my own personal closet.
As I travel to the Eastern part of the world, I reinvigorate my passion for Chinese and Japanese clothing. Most of the kimonos on display are darker with earth tone colors, but they flourish with intricate symbols of peace, beauty, and respect. As I look across the sea of kimonos, I am reminded of the silk-dye process with wax I learned about a couple of years earlier at the San Diego Museum of Art. With each crane and flower I am reminded of the careful and delicate artistry dedicated to this fine art process. As I peer at the Chinese robes nearby, I feel the same sense of respect and awe through the intricately embroidered prestigious and powerful dragons.
Embroidery is not only for Chinese robes, however, as I discover a pair of Mexican shawls. These shawls may be seen as tourist attractions or souvenirs, but having completed needlework, I know it is no easy task. There is a great deal of respect I have for this clothing covered in a process that is detailed; it is something that appears to be simple, but requires more time and attention than expected. The feminine and bright flowers that elaborately cover these shawls make it easy to see why it is a tourist attraction, and I feel grateful to experience such beauty here in my own backyard.