Irresistible: Multicolored Textiles from Asia is part of the campus-wide exhibition Spun: Adventures in Textiles.
The use of resist-dye techniques is found in many Asian countries. This exhibition highlights eye-dazzling textiles from various cultural traditions, including weavings from Uzbekistan and Japan. Several of the garments in the exhibition are made with ikat—fabrics with patterns created by dyeing the threads before they are woven into cloth. While a woman’s ikat robe from Uzbekistan used many colors of dye, another from Japan employed only indigo, a deep blue colorant that contrasts with the white cotton fabric.
In addition to ikat, the Japanese created textile patterns by applying a resist paste to cloth that was then colored with dye. Resist-dye textiles often conveyed a cultural message about the persons who possessed them. The time and cost of producing them gave them standing as high status items. The selection of patterns and designs were culturally significant, and the irresistible hangings, coverings and garments in this exhibition connoted prestige within their cultural framework.