Monday, April 09, 2007


"Red is the most powerful, the most vibrant, the most exhilarating of colours: it is the blood of life and of death. As such it is also ambiguous: life, fire, the sun and power are counterbalanced by sacrifice and death. Red threads and fabrics are associated with spirit worship and demons, with youth and marriage, with talismanic chamrms and secret powers. It is the predominant colour in all tribal and peasant embroidery, but is used in two entirely different ways - to protect and to mark."

Paine, Sheila, Embroidered Textiles: Traditional Patterns from five continents, Thames and Hudson London 1990, p.148


Blogger Arielle said...

When my energy is depleted, I want to wear something red. It makes me feel stronger and more outwardgoing.I have a red shawl and I wrap myself into it and I am surrounded by this life-affirming colour (more the blood of life than death for me).

In some Far Eastern countries, red indicates a high social rank:
" 'Kurenai' was the closest thing to red in the fashion palette of the Heian era, since the truer red, 'ake', was primarily used to indicate rank. It was second only to 'murasaki' (purple) in the hierarchy of forbidden colours. 'Kurenai' is usually translated as scarlet or crimson ... and provided a popular metaphor for inconstant love since it was a notoriously ephemeral dye".
'Kimono' Liza Dalby

"When I was a child, I pined for a red silk skirt ...". So begins the story of the consort to the Crown Prince in eighteen century Korea in Margaret Drabble's novel: 'The Red Queen'.

9:06 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home