Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saved List

Under the "Dancing in Beauty" tab on the website for Identity by Design discussed last week, there is mention of 'saved list' wool used in the c. 1890 Kiowa headdress as well as a rainbow list on the sleeve of a beautiful comtemporary Kiowa dress.

I have always found this term intriguing.' List' refers to selvedge--the edge of the fabric which is more tightly woven than the body to prevent fraying. It was often of another fiber and could be coarser than the center of the cloth. 'Saved list' means the list or selvedge kept white during the wool dying process. It was encased by folding a piece of webbing lengthwise and whip stitching it securely in place. This prevented the coarser, more absorbant selvedge fibers from taking up the expensive the dye stuffs. 

The edge was usually discarded in European garments but was much admired by the North American Indians during the Fur Trade Era and even afterwards during the Reservation period.  It was often used decoratively at the side, bottom or on the sleeves.

The photo below is of two different pieces of saved list--one indigo the other scarlet, side by side.

This is a picture of me holding a beautiful beaver pelt given to me by my husband as a wedding present 43 years ago. He had trapped and prepared the pelt. I was delighted with the gift but did not have a clue I would be using it as part of my Furs on a Stick lecture! This picture was taken last fall in Minneapolis.

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