Ordinary features.—In describing the constructive characters of fabrics and the attendant surface phenomena, I called attention to the fact that a greater part of the design manifested is enforced and supplemented by color, which gives new meaning to every feature. Color elements are present in the art from its very inception, and many simple patterns appear as accidents of textile aggregation long before the weaver or the possessor recognizes them as pleasing to the eye. When, finally, they are so recognized and a desire for greater elaboration springs up, the textile construction lends itself readily to the new office and under the esthetic forces brings about wonderful results without interfering in the least with the technical perfection of the articles embellished. But color is not confined to the mere emphasizing of figures already expressed in relief. It is capable of advancing alone into new fields, producing patterns and designs complex in arrangement and varied in hue, and that, too, without altering the simple, monotonous succession of relievo characters.

In color, as in relieved design, each species of constructive combination gives rise to more or less distinct groups of decorative results, which often become the distinguishing characteristics of the work of different peoples and the progenitors of long lines of distinctions in national decorative conceptions.

In addition to this apparently limitless capacity for expression, lovers of textile illumination have the whole series of extraordinary resources furnished by expedients not essential to ordinary construction, the character and scope of which have been dwelt upon to some extent in the preceding section.

I have already spoken of color in a general way, as to its necessary presence in art, its artificial application to fabrics and fabric materials, its symbolic characters, and its importance to esthetic progress. My object in this section is to indicate the part it takes in textile design, its methods of expression, the processes by which it advances in elaboration, and the part it takes in all geometric decoration.

It will be necessary, in the first place, to examine briefly the normal tendencies of color combination while still under the direct domination of constructive elaboration. In the way of illustration, let us take first a series of filaments, say in the natural color of the material, and pass through them in the simplest interlaced style a second series having a distinct color. A very simple geometric pattern is produced, as shown in Fig. 315. It is a sort of checker, an emphasized presentation of the relievo pattern shown in Fig. 291, the figures running horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. Had these filaments been accidentally associated in construction, the results might have been the same, but it is unnecessary to indicate in detail the possibilities of adventitious color combinations. So far as they exhibit system at all it is identical with the relievo elaboration.

Fig. 315. Pattern produced by interlacing strands of different colors

Fig. 315. Pattern produced by interlacing strands of different colors.ToList

Fig. 316. Pattern produced by modifying the alternation of fillets

Fig. 316. Pattern produced by modifying the alternation of fillets.ToList

Fig. 317. Isolated figures produced by modifying the order of intersection

Fig. 317. Isolated figures produced by modifying the order of intersection.ToList

Assuming that the idea of developing these figures into something more elaborate and striking is already conceived, let us study the processes and tendencies of growth. A very slight degree of ingenuity will enable the workman to vary the relation of the parts, producing a succession of results such, perhaps, as indicated in Fig. 316. In this example we have rows of isolated squares in white which may be turned hither and thither at pleasure, within certain angles, but they result in nothing more than monotonous successions of squares.

Fig. 318. Pattern produced by simple alternations of light and dark fillets

Fig. 318. Pattern produced by simple alternations of light and dark fillets. Basketry of the Indians of British Guiana.ToList

Additional facility of expression is obtained by employing dark strands in the vertical series also, and large, isolated areas of solid color may be produced by changing the order of intersection, certain of the fillets being carried over two or more of the opposing series and in contiguous spaces at one step, as seen in Fig. 317. With these elementary resources the weaver has very considerable powers of expression, as will be seen in Fig. 318, which is taken from a basket made by South American Indians, and in Fig. 341, where human figures are delineated. The patterns in such cases are all rigidly geometric and exhibit stepped outlines of a pronounced kind. With impacting and increased refinement of fillets the stepped character is in a considerable measure lost sight of and realistic, graphic representation is to a greater extent within the workman's reach. It is probable, however, that the idea of weaving complex ideographic characters would not occur to the primitive mind at a very early date, and a long period of progress would elapse before delineative subjects would be attempted.

I do not need to follow this style of combination into the more refined kinds of work and into loom products, but may add that through all, until perverted by ulterior influences, the characteristic geometricity and monotonous repetition are allpervading.

For the purpose of looking still more closely into the tendencies of normal textile decorative development I shall present a series of Indian baskets, choosing mainly from the closely woven or impacted varieties because they are so well represented in our collections and at the same time are so very generally embellished with designs in color; besides, they are probably among the most simple and primitive textile products known. I have already shown that several types of combination when closely impacted produce very similar surface characters and encourage the same general style of decoration. In nearly all, the color features are confined to one series of fillets—those of the woof—the other, the warp, being completely hidden from view. In the preceding series the warp and woof were almost equally concerned in the expression of design. Here but one is used, and in consequence there is much freedom of expression, as the artist carries the colored filaments back and forth or inserts new ones at will. Still it will be seen that in doing this he is by no means free; he must follow the straight and narrow pathway laid down by the warp and woof, and, do what he may, he arrives at purely geometric results.

Fig. 319. Base of coiled basket showing the method of building by dual coiling

Fig. 319. Base of coiled basket showing the method of building by dual coiling. The base or warp coil is composed of untwisted fiber and is formed by adding to the free end as the coiling goes on. The woof or binding filament, as it is coiled, is caught into the upper surface of the preceding turn—1/8.ToList

Fig. 320. Coiled basket with simple geometric ornament

Fig. 320. Coiled basket with simple geometric ornament. Work of the northwest coast Indians—1/8.ToList

I will now present the examples, which for the sake of uniformity are in all cases of the coiled ware. If a basket is made with no other idea than that of use the surface is apt to be pretty uniform in color, the natural color of the woof fillets. If decoration is desired a colored fillet is introduced, which, for the time, takes the place and does the duty of the ordinary strand. Fig. 319 serves to show the construction and surface appearance of the base of a coil made vessel still quite free from any color decoration. Now, if it is desired to begin a design, the plain wrapping thread is dropped and a colored fillet is inserted and the coiling continues. Carried once around the vessel we have an encircling line of dark color corresponding to the lower line of the ornament seen in Fig. 320. If the artist is content with a single line of color he sets the end of the dark thread and takes up the light colored one previously dropped and continues the coiling. If further elaboration is desired it is easily accomplished. In the example given the workman has taken up the dark fillet again and carried it a few times around the next turn of the warp coil; then it has been dropped and the white thread taken up, and again, in turn, another dark thread has been introduced and coiled for a few turns, and so on until four encircling rows of dark, alternating rectangles have been produced. Desiring to introduce a meandered design he has taken the upper series of rectangles as bases and adding colored filaments at the proper time has carried oblique lines, one to the right and the other to the left, across the six succeeding ridges of the warp coil. The pairs of stepped lines meeting above were joined in rectangles like those below, and the decoration was closed by a border line at the top. The vessel was then completed in the light colored material. In this ornament all forms are bounded by two classes of lines, vertical and horizontal (or, viewed from above or below, radial and encircling), the lines of the warp and the woof. Oblique bands of color are made up of series of rectangles, giving stepped outlines. Although these figures are purely geometric, it is not impossible that in their position and grouping they preserve a trace of some imitative conception modified to this shape by the forces of the art. They serve quite as well, however, to illustrate simple mechanical elaboration as if entirely free from suspicion of associated ideas.

Fig. 321. Coiled basket with encircling bands of ornament

Fig. 321. Coiled basket with encircling bands of ornament in white, red, and black, upon a yellowish ground. Obtained from the Indians of the Tule River, California—1/8.ToList

In Fig. 321 I present a superb piece of work executed by the Indians of the Tule River, California. It is woven in the closely impacted, coiled style. The ornament is arranged in horizontal zones and consists of a series of diamond shaped figures in white with red centers and black frames set side by side. The processes of substitution where changes of color are required are the same as in the preceding case and the forms of figures and the disposition of designs are the same, being governed by the same forces.

Fig. 322. Coiled basket with ornament arranged in zigzag rays

Fig. 322. Coiled basket with ornament arranged in zigzag rays. Obtained from the Pima Indians of Arizona—1/8.ToList

Another choice piece, from the Pima Indians of Arizona, is given in Fig. 322. The lines of the ornament adhere exclusively to the directions imposed by the warp and the woof, the stripes of black color ascending with the turns of the fillet for a short distance, then for a time following the horizontal ridges, and again ascending, the complete result being a series of zigzag rays set very close together. These rays take an oblique turn to the left, and the dark figures at the angles, from the necessities of construction, form rows at right angles to these. A few supplementary rays are added toward the margin to fill out the widening spaces. Another striking example of the domination of technique over design is illustrated in Fig. 323.

Fig. 323. Coiled basket with two bands of meandered ornament

Fig. 323. Coiled basket with two bands of meandered ornament. Obtained from the Pima Indians of Arizona—1/4.ToList

Two strongly marked, fret-like meanders encircle the vessel, the elements of which are ruled exclusively by the warp and woof, by the radiate and the concentric lines of construction. This is the work of the Pima Indians of Arizona.

Fig. 324. Coiled basket with geometric ornament composed of triangular figures

Fig. 324. Coiled basket with geometric ornament composed of triangular figures. Obtained from the McCloud River Indians, California—1/8.ToList

I shall close the series with a very handsome example of Indian basketry and of basketry ornamentation (Fig. 324). The conical shape is highly pleasing and the design is thoroughly satisfactory and, like all the others, is applied in a way indicative of a refined sense of the decorative requirements of the utensil. The design is wholly geometric, and, although varied in appearance, is composed almost exclusively of dark triangular figures upon a light ground. The general grouping is in three horizontal or encircling bands agreeing with or following the foundation coil. Details are governed by the horizontal and the oblique structure lines. The vertical construction lines have no direct part in the conformation of the design excepting in so far as they impose a stepped character upon all oblique outlines.

These studies could be carried through all the types of primitive textile combination, but such a work seems unnecessary, for in all cases the elaboration in design, relieved and colored, is along similar lines, is governed by the same class of forces, and reaches closely corresponding results.

We have observed throughout the series of examples presented a decided tendency toward banded or zonal arrangement of the ornamentation. Now each of these bands is made up of a number of units, uniform in shape and in size and joined or linked together in various suitable and consistent ways. In contemplating them we are led to inquire into the nature of the forces concerned in the accomplishment of such results. The question arises as to exactly how much of the segregating and aggregating forces or tendencies belongs to the technique of the art and how much to the direct esthetic supervision of the human agent, questions as to ideographic influence being for the present omitted. This is a difficult problem to deal with, and I shall not attempt more here than to point out the apparent teachings of the examples studied.

The desires of the mind constitute the motive power, the force that gives rise to all progress in art; the appreciation of beauty and the desire to increase it are the cause of all progress in purely decorative elaboration. It appears, however, that there is in the mind no preconceived idea of what that elaboration should be. The mind is a growing thing and is led forward along the pathways laid out by environment. Seeking in art gratification of an esthetic kind it follows the lead of technique along the channels opened by such of the useful arts as offer suggestions of embellishment. The results reached vary with the arts and are important in proportion to the facilities furnished by the arts. As I have already amply shown, the textile art possesses vast advantages over all other arts in this respect, as it is first in the field, of widest application, full of suggestions of embellishment, and inexorably fixed in its methods of expression. The mind in its primitive, mobile condition is as clay in the grasp of technique.

A close analysis of the forces and the influences inherent in the art will be instructive. For the sake of simplicity I exclude from consideration all but purely mechanical or non-ideographic elements. It will be observed that order, uniformity, symmetry, are among the first lessons of the textile art. From the very beginning the workman finds it necessary to direct his attention to these considerations in the preparation of his material as well as in the building of his utensils. If parts employed in construction are multiple they must be uniform, and to reach definite results (presupposing always a demand for such results), either in form or ornament, there must be a constant counting of numbers and adjusting to spaces. The most fundamental and constant elements embodied in textile art and available for the expression of embellishment are the minute steps of the intersections or bindings; the most necessary and constant combination of these elements is in continuous lines or in rows of isolated figures; the most necessary and constant directions for these combinations are with the web and the woof, or with their complementaries, the diagonals. If large areas are covered certain separation or aggregation of the elements into larger units is called for, as otherwise absolute sameness would result. Such separation or aggregation conforms to the construction lines of the fabric, as any other arrangement would be unnatural and difficult of accomplishment. When the elements or units combine in continuous zones, bands, or rays they are placed side by side in simple juxtaposition or are united in various ways, always following the guide lines of construction through simple and complex convolutions. Whatever is done is at the suggestion of technique; whatever is done takes a form and arrangement imposed by technique. Results are like in like techniques and are unlike in unlike techniques; they therefore vary with the art and with its variations in time and character.

All those agencies pertaining to man that might be supposed important in this connection—the muscles of the hand and of the eye, the cell structure of the brain, together with all preconceived ideas of the beautiful—are all but impotent in the presence of technique, and, so far as forms of expression go, submit completely to its dictates. Ideas of the beautiful in linear geometric forms are actually formed by technique, and taste in selecting as the most beautiful certain ornaments produced in art is but choosing between products that in their evolution gave it its character and powers, precisely as the animal selects its favorite foods from among the products that throughout its history constitute its sustenance and shape its appetites.

Now, as primitive peoples advance from savagery to barbarism there comes a time in the history of all kinds of textile products at which the natural technical progress of decorative elaboration is interfered with by forces from without the art. This occurs when ideas, symbolic or otherwise, come to be associated with the purely geometric figures, tending to arrest or modify their development, or, again, it occurs when the artist seeks to substitute mythologic subjects for the geometric units. This period cannot be always well defined, as the first steps in this direction are so thoroughly subordinated to the textile forces. Between what may be regarded as purely technical, geometric ornament and ornament recognizably delineative, we find in each group of advanced textile products a series of forms of mixed or uncertain pedigree. These must receive slight attention here.

Fig. 325. Coiled basket ornamented with devices probably very highly conventionalized mythological subjects

Fig. 325. Coiled basket ornamented with devices probably very highly conventionalized mythological subjects. Obtained from the Apache—1/8.ToList

Fig. 325 represents a large and handsome basket obtained from the Apache. It will be seen that the outline of the figures comprising the principal zone of ornament departs somewhat from the four ruling directions of the textile combination. This was accomplished by increasing the width of the steps in the outline as the dark rays progressed, resulting in curved outlines of eccentric character. This eccentricity, coupled with the very unusual character of the details at the outer extremities of the figures, leads to the surmise that each part of the design is a conventional representation of some life form, a bird, an insect, or perhaps a man.

By the free introduction of such elements textile ornament loses its pristine geometric purity and becomes in a measure degraded. In the more advanced stages of Pueblo art the ornament of nearly all the textiles is pervaded by ideographic characters, generally rude suggestions of life forms, borrowed, perhaps, from mythologic art. This is true of much of the coiled basketry of the Moki Indians. True, many examples occur in which the ancient or indigenous geometric style is preserved, but the majority appear to be more or less modified. In many cases nothing can be learned from a study of the designs themselves, as the particular style of construction is not adapted to realistic expression, and, at best, resemblances to natural forms are very remote. Two examples are given in Figs. 326 and 327. I shall expect, however, when the art of these peoples is better known, to learn to what particular mythic concept these mixed or impure geometric devices refer.

Fig. 326. Coiled tray with geometric devices probably modified by ideographic association

Fig. 326. Coiled tray with geometric devices probably modified by ideographic association. Moki work—1/4.ToList

The same is true of other varieties of Pueblo basketry, notably the common decorated wickerware, two specimens of which are given in Figs. 328 and 329. This ware is of the interlaced style, with radially arranged web filaments. Its geometric characters are easily distinguished from those of the coiled ware. Many examples exhibit purely conventional elaboration, the figures being arranged in rays, zones, checkers, and the like. It is to be expected, however, that the normal ornament of this class of products should be greatly interfered with through attempts to introduce extraneous elements, for the peoples have advanced to a stage of culture at which it is usual to attempt the introduction of mythologic representations into all art. Further consideration of this subject will be necessary in the next section of this paper.

Fig. 327. Coiled tray with geometric devices

Fig. 327. Coiled tray with geometric devices, probably modified by ideographic association. Moki work—1/4.ToList

Fig. 328. Tray of interlaced style of weaving

Fig. 328. Tray of interlaced style of weaving, showing geometric ornament, probably modified by ideographic association. Moki work—1/4.ToList

The processes of pure geometric elaboration with which this section is mainly concerned can be studied to best advantage in more primitive forms of art.

Fig. 329. Tray of interlaced style of weaving

Fig. 329. Tray of interlaced style of weaving, showing geometric ornament, probably modified by ideographic association. Moki work—1/4.ToList

Non-essential constructive features.—Now, all the varied effects of color and design described in the preceding paragraphs are obtained without seriously modifying the simple necessary construction, without resorting to the multiple extraordinary devices within easy reach. The development and utilization of the latter class of resources must now receive attention. In the preceding examples, when it was desired to begin a figure in color the normal ground filament was dropped out and a colored one set into its place and made to fill its office while it remained; but we find that in many classes of work the colored elements were added to the essential parts, not substituted for them, although they are usually of use in perfecting the fabric by adding to serviceability as well as to beauty. This is illustrated, for example, by the doubling of one series or of both warp and woof, by the introduction of pile, by wrapping filaments with strands of other colors, or by twisting in feathers. Savage nations in all parts of the world are acquainted with devices of this class and employ them with great freedom. The effects produced often correspond closely to needlework, and the materials employed are often identical in both varieties of execution.

The following examples will serve to illustrate my meaning. The effect seen in Fig. 330 is observed in a small hand wallet obtained in Mexico. The fillets employed appear to be wide, flattened straws of varied colors. In order to avoid the monotony of a plain checker certain of the light fillets are wrapped with thin fillets of dark tint in such a way that when woven the dark color appears in small squares placed diagonally with the fundamental checkers. Additional effects are produced by covering certain portions of the filaments with straws of distinct color, all being woven in with the fabric. By other devices certain parts of the fillets are made to stand out from the surface in sharp points and in ridges, forming geometric figures, either normal or added elements being employed. Another device is shown in Fig. 331. Here a pattern is secured by carrying dark fillets back and forth over the light colored fabric, catching them down at regular intervals during the process of weaving. Again, feathers and other embellishing media are woven in with the woof. Two interesting baskets procured from the Indians of the northwest coast are shown in Figs. 332 and 333. Feathers of brilliant hues are fixed to and woven in with certain of the woof strands, which are treated, in the execution of patterns, just as are ordinary colored threads, care being taken not to destroy the beauty of the feathers in the process. The richly colored feathers lying smoothly in one direction are made to represent various figures necessarily geometric. This simple work is much surpassed, however, by the marvelous feather ornamentation of the Mexicans and Peruvians, of which glowing accounts are given by historians and of which a few meager traces are found in tombs. Much of the feather work of all nations is of the nature of embroidery and will receive attention further on. A very clever device practiced by the northwest coast tribes consists in the use of two woof strands of contrasting colors, one or the other being made to appear on the surface, as the pattern demands.

Fig. 330. Ornament produced by wrapping certain light fillets with darker ones before weaving

Fig. 330. Ornament produced by wrapping certain light fillets with darker ones before weaving. Mexican work.ToList

Fig. 331. Ornamental effect secured by weaving in series of dark fillets

Fig. 331. Ornamental effect secured by weaving in series of dark fillets, forming a superficial device. Work of the Klamath Indians.ToList

Fig. 332. Baskets ornamented with feather work

Fig. 332. Baskets ornamented with feather work. Northwest coast tribes—1/4.ToList

Fig. 333. Baskets ornamented with feather work

Fig. 333. Baskets ornamented with feather work. Northwest coast tribes—1/4.ToList

An example from a higher grade of art will be of value in this connection. The ancient Peruvians resorted to many clever devices for purposes of enrichment. An illustration of the use of extra-constructional means to secure desired ends are given in Figs. 334 and 335. Threads constituting a supplemental warp and woof are carried across the under side of a common piece of fabric, that they may be brought up and woven in here and there to produce figures of contrasting color upon the right side. Fig. 334 shows the right side of the cloth, with the secondary series appearing in the border and central figure only. Fig. 335 illustrates the opposite side and shows the loose hanging, unused portions of the auxiliary series. In such work, when the figures are numerous and occupy a large part of the surface, the fabric is really a double one, having a dual warp and woof. Examples could be multiplied indefinitely, but it will readily be seen from what has been presented that the results of these extraordinary means cannot differ greatly from those legitimately produced by the fundamental filaments alone.

Fig. 334. Piece of cotton cloth showing the use of a supplementary web and woof

Fig. 334. Piece of cotton cloth showing the use of a supplementary web and woof. Ancient Peru.ToList

Fig. 335. Piece of cotton cloth showing the use of a supplementary web and woof

Fig. 335. Piece of cotton cloth showing the use of a supplementary web and woof. Ancient Peru.ToList

Superconstructive features.—In reviewing the superconstructive decorative features in the preceding section I classified them somewhat closely by method of execution or application to the fabric, as stitched, inserted, drawn, cut, applied, and appended. It will be seen that, although these devices are to a great extent of the nature of needlework, all cannot be classed under this head.

Before needles came into use the decorative features were inserted and attached in a variety of ways. In open work nothing was needed but the end of the fillet or part inserted; again, in close work, perforations were made as in leather work, and the threads were inserted as are the waxed ends of the shoemaker.

The importance of this class of decorative devices to primitive peoples will be apparent if we but call to mind the work of our own Indian tribes. What a vast deal of attention is paid to those classes of embroideries in which beads, feathers, quills, shells, seeds, teeth, &c., are employed, and to the multitude of novel applications of tassels, fringes, and tinkling pendants. The taste for these things is universal and their relation to the development of esthetic ideas is doubtless very intimate.

Needlework arose in the earliest stages of art and at first was employed in joining parts, such as leaves, skins, and tissues, for various useful purposes, and afterwards in attaching ornaments. In time the attaching media, as exposed in stitches, loops, knots, and the like, being of bright colors, were themselves utilized as embellishment, and margins and apertures were beautified by various bindings and borders, and finally patterns were worked in contrasting colors upon the surfaces of the cloths and other materials of like nature or use.

No other art so constantly and decidedly suggested embellishment and called for the exercise of taste. It was the natural habitat for decoration. It was the field in which technique and taste were most frequently called upon to work hand in hand.

With the growth of culture the art was expanded and perfected, its wonderful capacity for expression leading from mere bindings to pretentious borders, to patterns, to the introduction of ideographs, to the representation of symbols and mythologic subjects, and from these to the delineation of nature, the presentation of historical and purely pictorial scenes.

And now a few words in regard to the character of the work and its bearing upon the geometric system of decoration. As purely constructive ornamentation has already been presented, I will first take up that class of superconstructive work most nearly related to it. In some varieties of basketry certain bindings of the warp and woof are actually left imperfect, with the idea of completing the construction by subsequent processes, the intersections being gone over stitch by stitch and lashed together, the embroidery threads passing in regular order through the openings of the mesh. This process is extremely convenient to the decorator, as changes from one color to another are made without interfering with construction, and the result is of a closely similar character to that reached by working the colors in with warp and woof. In a very close fabric this method cannot be employed, but like results are reached by passing the added filaments beneath the protruding parts of the bindings and, stitch by stitch, covering up the plain fabric, working bright patterns. Fig. 336 is intended to show how this is done. The foundation is of twined work and the decorating fillets are passed under by lifting, with or without a needle. This process is extensively practiced by our west coast tribes, and the results are extremely pleasing. The materials most used are quills and bright colored straws, the foundation fabric being of bark or of rushes. The results in such work are generally geometric, in a way corresponding more or less closely with the ground work combination.

Fig. 336. Grass embroidery upon the surface of closely impacted, twined basketry

Fig. 336. Grass embroidery upon the surface of closely impacted, twined basketry. Work of the northwest coast Indians.ToList

A large class of embroideries are applied by like processes, but without reference to the construction of the foundation fabric, as they are also applied to felt and leather. Again, artificially prepared perforations are used, through which the fillets are passed. The results are much less uniformly geometric than where the fabric is followed; yet the mere adding of the figures, stitch by stitch or part by part, is sufficient to impart a large share of geometricity, as may be seen in the buckskin bead work and in the dentalium and quill work of the Indians.

Feather embroidery was carried to a high degree of perfection by our ancient aborigines, and the results were perhaps the most brilliant of all these wonderful decorations. I have already shown how feathers are woven in with the warp and woof, and may now give a single illustration of the application of feather work to the surfaces of fabrics. Among the beautiful articles recovered from the tombs of Ancon, Peru, are some much decayed specimens of feather work. In our example delicate feathers of red, blue, and yellow hues are applied to the surface of a coarse cotton fabric by first carefully tying them together in rows at regular distances and afterwards stitching them down, as shown in Fig. 337.

The same method is practiced by modern peoples in many parts of the world. Other decorative materials are applied in similar ways by attachment to cords or fillets which are afterwards stitched down. In all this work the geometricity is entirely or nearly uniform with that of the foundation fabrics. Other classes of decoration, drawn work, appliqué, and the like, are not of great importance in aboriginal art and need no additional attention here, as they have but slight bearing upon the development of design.

Fig. 337. Feather embroidery of the ancient Peruvians

Fig. 337. Feather embroidery of the ancient Peruvians, showing the method of attaching the feathers.ToList

Attached or appended ornaments constitute a most important part of decorative resource. They are less subject to the laws of geometricity, being fixed to surfaces and margins without close reference to the web and woof. They include fringes, tassels, and the multitude of appendable objects, natural and artificial, with which primitive races bedeck their garments and utensils. A somewhat detailed study of this class of ornament is given at the end of the preceding section.

Adventitious features.—Ornament is applied to the surfaces of fabrics by painting and by stamping. These methods of decoration were employed in very early times and probably originated in other branches of art. If the surface features of the textile upon which a design is painted are strongly pronounced, the figures produced with the brush or pencil will tend to follow them, giving a decidedly geometric result. If the surface is smooth the hand is free to follow its natural tendencies, and the results will be analogous in character to designs painted upon pottery, rocks, or skins. In primitive times both the texture of the textiles and the habits of the decorator, acquired in textile work, tended towards the geometric style of delineation, and we find that in work in which the fabric lines are not followed at all the designs are still geometric, and geometric in the same way as are similar designs woven in with the fabric. Illustrations of this are given in the next section.

I have dwelt at sufficient length upon the character and the tendencies of the peculiar system of embellishment that arises within textile art as the necessary outgrowth of technique, and now proceed to explain the relations of this system to associated art.

In the strong forward tendency of the textile system of decoration it has made two conquests of especial importance. In the first place it has subdued and assimilated all those elements of ornament that have happened to enter its realm from without, and in the second place it has imposed its habits and customs upon the decorative systems of all arts with which the textile art has come in contact.