Phase 3: Interpreting Information
In Phase 0 I have already chosen my topic which is textile production, and in Phase 1, I wrote some background knowledge of that topic. Right now, we will be researching about our topics and asking questions.
I have also collected information from previous microcampus students work. I looked at Maddie O.'s work on tie-dye. She has posted interesting facts on the kinds of dye they use in the village for dying things. Some kinds of dye are made from natural elements, but some are made from chemicals.
Looking at another students work, I found Miranda M.'s page. She talks about a lot about how silk is the best material for embroidery, and the process to making a fine piece of art. Silk is the most common and easiest kind of material to work with because it doesn't get tangled as easily as other fabric, and with no doubt, it is a beautiful textile. How they prepare silk is interesting. They boil the silk in water to make it soft and flexible, and then stretch it for thin results. After that, they can dye it and then start the embroidery process.
Information From 3-to-5's:
There are some embroidery households at the happy embroidery place, and at Si Fang Jie there is an antique shop, the owner name is Mr. Yang. And also at the Linden Centre, I could talk to Brian Linden. For Bamboo Weaving, there is one village named He Yi Cheng just nearby here that has someone doing weaving by them self. There is a person named Yang Ayi, she has a workshop in her house, about 15 minutes from here.
A village near to er hai that is famous for making bamboo products, there are some families doing bamboo weaving and selling to the market. Some student's project is on bamboo weaving, so there are a lot of contacts (villages) on her phase 3. The morning market sells bamboo baskets and tools, the seller might not produce the bamboo products by themselves, but they know a lot of techniques, and they can provide information about where they get their information. And in the happy embroidery street has a gallery and the owner is Li lao shi, and they always do the sewing and embroidery in the afternoons. There is another shop of the embroidery next to the Linden Centre, but instead of turning to the linden centre, you keep walking forward for about 50 meters and on the right side there is an embroidery shop, the owner's name is Shi Ayi, it is a must see place. A village far from Xizhou called Zhoucheng, that is famous for tie-dye, and at least 4 tie-dye factories. There are two old woman, they run a gallery on tie-dye, they can explain what kinds of embroidery is most commonly used and the meaning behind it. Asking people selling textiles in the village just to collect information. There is an embroidery store near Mr. Zhaos home, near the construction site, and sometimes it is open.
Information from Local Contacts:
- She owns a workshop where she makes embroidery products collected from all around the village.
- Most of her work is made by machinery, but some her own creations. In her workshop there are 7 different kinds of minorities embroided into the work.
- There is the Miao minority, the Shui minority, the Yao minority, the Yi minority, the Ge Lao minority, the Bu Yi minority, and the Ge minority.
- Shi Ayi, collects worn out and old fabrics and cloths from villages, and sews them together to form beautiful and natural pieces.
- She visits villages and asks for old fabrics they don't need and she collects these cloths and creates beautiful and natural masterpieces.
- Zhoucheng is a place specially known for tie-dye, also known as Za Ran.
- There are four generations living in that house.
- The woman who taught me how to do tie-dye, is Yang Ayi.
- She has two children who live there as well, she is in her 40s.
- She showed me the process to making tie-dyes.
- After that She showed me how to sew the pattern, and she gave me a needle and I sewed the first half with a single thread, and then I sewed the second half with a double thread, that way the patterns are different and pretty.
- She tied the parts where there shouldn't be any dye on it, because the ties are really tight so no dye will sink into it, leaving a pattern.
- After the tieing process, her husband Mr. Yang, he helped me dye it. Behind the displays of tie-dyes there was a big pot on top of a huge stove, which heated up the water in the pot. He threw the cloth into the pot making it soft and wet.
- He then threw in some indigo dye and mixed the cloth with the color.
- He used his big rubber gloves to mix it and after a while he took it out and started to rinse it out. Normally, they would dye a piece of cloth about 20 times to maintain color for a longer period of time
He lao shi
- At the Happy Embroidery, I was supposed to interview Li lao shi, but she wasn't there, so I interviewed one of her learners, He ayi.
- She really enjoys doing embroidery and shes been doing it for about a year now.
- As I was looking around, I saw that there were pictures of men doing embroidery, and then underneath that picture, there are women doing embroidery.
- He lao shi explained to me that back a few 60, 70 years ago, men used to do embroidery, but then they thought that it was more of a woman thing to do, so now men left embroidery, and started to do physical work since women can't do that,
- so women took over embroidery ever since.
- She said the most of the embroidery in Xizhou comes from their workshop.
- On the construction site of the road to the Linden Centre, there is an alleyway that leads to a textile shop.
- This textile shop includes, tie-dye, embroidery, handmade crafts, and many more.
- Most of the handmade crafts are made on her own, and some were brought in from other places.
- The majority of her merchandises were brought in from Dali Old Town, and some were made by others.
- The embroidery products were mostly made by machinery.
- Mi Ayi owns a shop in one of the corners of Si Fang Jie, where she sells textiles.
- She also handmakes her own crafts, and other textiles are brought in from other places.
- The places which she sends materials for others to help make them for her, are ben di ren, ben di ren are people who originate from Xizhou.
- All her tie-dyes were brought in from Zhoucheng, the place where tie-dyes are born.
- When I entered her store, there were tie-dyes hung up outside, and they said that it was still wet from the process of making it in Zhoucheng.
- All tie-dyes are all sketched out on a piece of white cloth, and they tie it, to make the pattern show in the cloth.
- Then the dying process uses dyes made from natural products, such as indigo, from indigo flowers.
- Some tie-dyes are speically made and bought from markets and tie-dye shops.
- Most tie-dyes have the blue color on them, because that's what tie-dyes started out with, and because a lot of people like blue.
- In the old days, tie-dye used to only consist of blue colors, but now that modern art has taken over, more vibrant and colorful dyes such as green, red, pink, purple, etc....
- There are certain patterns or pictures that are most commonly used in all tie-dyes, such as the flower, the butterfly, and the fish.
- Many tie-dyes have these pictures of patterns dyed on it because these symbols have a meaning behind them.
- The fish, most used in vietnam and China because it represents things or events going very smoothly,
- The butterfly is something that is a pretty and elegant pattern and shape that everyone seems to like.
- There are many different kinds of flowers and plants dyed onto tie-dyes.
- There are plants such as the zu hua, and gui hua, there are many other flowers, but not all of them have names.
- The flowers just represent elegance and beauty while tie-dye requires a lot of patience during the sewing process.
Answers to Previous Questions (from phase 1):
1. Are the materials for tie-dye natural, or manmade?
Some people use dyes that are specially made for tie-dyes, and some people still use natural dyes extracted from plants and flowers.
2. Do they provide their own resources or do they purchase them?
They purchase their own resources talking about tie-dye
3. Are there specific materials they would use in Xizhou?
A white cloth for the base fabric, and dyes that are made specially for tie-dyes, and sewig thread for the tying process.
4. How do different people in the village (young vs old, less income vs wealthier, female vs male, etc) make tie-dyes differently (in terms of clothing, decoration, etc)
Most people that are older tend to be more interested in tie-dye and do tie-dye, because the young people don't have a lot of time for that much patience.
5. How has tie-dye changed over time in Xizhou?
Tie-dyes have not changed that much over time, except for the difference in colors and styles.
6. How are tie-dyes in Xizhou different from Shanghai?
Shanghai does not sell a lot of tie-dyes.
7. What are the different types of patterns of symbols most seen around Xizhou?
The most common patterns and symbols would be the gui hua, zu hua, the butterfly pattern, and the fish pattern.
8. How are tie-dyes made in xizhou? (factories, small businesses, within households, etc)
There are small households and stores where they sell tie-dyes.
9. Is there a particular symbol or token that is important to the village itself?
There are the patterns that I mentioned earlier, such as the gui hua, the zu hua, and the butterfly pattern.
10. Is there a particular enviornment or atmosphere required to produce certain tie-dyes?
Just that if it's raining, then it would be really inconvenient.
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3. Online: Tie-dye Instructions, http://www.bestdye.com/Tie-Dye-Instructions.php, accessed Nov 11, 2014
4. Online: Tie-dye Supplies, http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/tiedye/a/041601a_2.htm, accessed Nov 11, 2014
5. Online: Tie-dye, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tie-dye, accessed Nov 11, 2014
6. Online: History of Tie-dye, http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Spring09/blake_e/history.html, accessed Nov 11, 2014
7. Online: Origin of Tie-dye, http://www.dharmatrading.com/tie-dye-is-an-american-art-form.html, acce... Nov 11, 2014
8. Online:http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/embroidery-machines.php, accessed Nov 11, 2014
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12. Online:http://www.urbanthreads.com/tutorials.aspx?t=Basic+Hand+Embroidery+Stitc... Nov 11, 2014
13. Online:http://www.dmc-usa.com/Education/How-To/Learn-the-Stitches/Embroidery-St... Nov 11, 2014
14. Online:http://wildolive.blogspot.com/2011/03/embroidery-basics-materials.html, accessed Nov 11, 2014
15. Online:http://www.instructables.com/id/Handmade-Bamboo-Lantern-Using-old-bamboo... Nov 11, 2014
16. Online:http://traditions.cultural-china.com/en/16Traditions3738.html, accessed Nov 11, 2014
17. Online:http://www.royalwoodltd.com/cat07-10dr.htm, accessed Nov 11, 2014
18. Online:http://www.jmxbamboo.com/historyofbamboo.aspx, accessed Nov 11, 2014
19. Shi. Personal Interview conducted by Kelly C., Nov 27, 2014
18. Yang. Personal Interview conducted by Kelly C., Nov 28, 2014
20. He. Personal Interview conducted by Kelly C., Dec 3, 2014
21. Zhang. Personal Interview conducted by Kelly C., Dec 3, 2014
22. Mi. Personal Interview conducted by Kelly C., Dec 4, 2014
23. Tang. Personal Interview conducted by Kelly C., Dec 10, 2014
For Phase 4, we will be organizing all our information and perfecting them into our final product. Now that I am done with Phase 3, I will look to Phase 4, and prepare myself for handling all that information.