Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Font size: +

One More Thing, or Is It Two?

It’s hard to walk away from the Colonial Williamsburg Exhibition, because there was so much wonder to see. Fabulous period costumes, a fun and funky fashion show of reproduction clothing, palampores hanging in multiple cases. The list goes on…I could probably write several more articles, but I’ll try to limit myself to one more thing.

I was struck by the “muddy colors” noted by some as purple. Taupe, dirt brown, or any color brown I’d describe as muddy, but not purple. Yet, purple was apparently the neutral for the period according to some of the designer notes. So, it is somewhat ironic that the fabulous and brilliant purple, does indeed turn brown with age.

It is a fugitive color (one that runs away) and so frequently the glory of the color is missed, unless you get the honor of seeing the color on textiles that haven’t been exposed to light. Check out the comparison of these two textiles, one which had been protected, the other damaged.


Which brings me to another observation, okay this is the second one more thing. The printing mistake in a famous indigo and white textile. Look at the photo to see if you can see how the block got turned around, which caused a series of blunders, and yet, it is still a thing of beauty.

When I do block printing and make a mistake, I throw away the textile. In fact, even some tests re-creating historical methods, I threw away, even though I got the block correctly aligned. Yet, this textile artist saved it to be treasured for the centuries or millennia. I’m so thankful!