Visit “Art of the Zo: Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh” for a closer look at this loom and in-process textile. Zo weavers use simple back-tension looms made of bamboo rods and wooden sticks. The far end of the loom is tethered to a fixed object, and the near end is attached to the weaver’s waist by a belt.

Mro weaver Win La Oo makes a shoulder cloth on her grandmother’s loom. Lanmadaw, Myanmar, 2003 (© Barbara and David Fraser)

Suzani, Uzbekistan, Pskent, 19th century. Cotton and silk, plain weave and embroidery, 78.75 x 101 in. The Textile Museum 1979.42.1. Gift of Allan H. Gilbert.

Old Patterns, New Order: Socialist Realism in Central Asia on view now through May 29, 2016 at the George Washington University Textile Museum in Washington, DC. $8 suggested donation.

From the Website:

Under Soviet political rule, artists across Central Asia created images that both embraced modernity and idealized the past. This exhibition will examine the socialist realist art movement in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and others areas of Central Asia, pairing twentieth-century paintings with examples of the traditional textiles they depict. Organized in partnership with GW’s Central Asia Program.

Fashion and Textile Exhibitions Currently on View



This Kuba overskirt is covered with embroidered abstract patterns, including some done with a special “cut pile” stitch that creates tufts that look like velvet. The skirt, wrapped around the body for ceremonial dances, has wavy edges that were worn only by very high-ranking women. Made by stitching on a thick bundle of raffia fibers, they give a sense of movement even when the skirt is flat. See this and other patterned textiles in Creative Africa: Threads of Tradition.

Woman’s Overskirt, c. 1900–1950, Made by the Kuba culture, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Photo via Instagram by @mingoandgrace