Adding Pattern, Adding Value

October 1, 2022-January 15, 2023

Detail of 5 clawed dragon from a 19th century Imperial Chinese robe (Qing/Ching Dynasty). Silk, gold thread

Across time and across continents, people of different cultures have transformed woven textiles, whether created by hand or machine, by adding pattern in various ways—from dyeing yarns multiple colors, weaving complex patterns (jacquard), or using fabric as the ground to which pattern could be added through embroidery or resist techniques (tie-dye or batik). Such transformations take time, effort, and resources, adding value that is both aesthetic and economic. Drawing on the resources of the Fitchburg Art Museum’s collections of global textiles, this exhibition will explore various techniques used in Africa, Indonesia, China, and South America.

Mrs. Moriamu Aliyu, Nigerian. Nupe people (Bida city, Niger State, Nigeria) Women’s wrap-around garment – 2 panels of women’s weave sewn together, warp stripes with supplementary weft or weft float pattern Machine spun cotton (body), rayon (weft float)1974 W. 59” x H. 90” Anonymous gift

Kuna Artist, Panama (San Blas) Reverse applique panel (mola) – flying dragon motif cotton mid to late 20th century Gift of Dwight and Anna Heath


Wednesday – Friday 12pm – 4pm
Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm
1st Thursday of the month 12pm – 7pm



Fitchburg Art Museum
185 Elm Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Phone 978.345.4207


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