Sexy, feminine, witty polka dots: Ever since the industrial revolution and the advent of machine textile printing made these symmetric repeats widely available, they’ve signaled modern dressing. It’s no wonder the runways were silly for spots this season.
Analogous to birth and regeneration, Kodi textile dyeing is also vulnerable to the cycle of death and decay. It is recorded that practitioners associate the unpleasant smell of the dyebath with the putrefaction of rotting flesh, and consider the bath polluting to gestation. Pregnant women should not look at the dye pots, lest the sight of the dark and churning liquid dissolve the contents of their womb. Reciprocally, menstruating women are kept from the pots, as the flow of their blood is believed to disrupt the dying process. The dependence of birth upon death, gain upon loss, creation upon destruction, is acknowledged by the Kodi in other ways: They model their weddings and funerals after each other, using the same indigo-dyed fabrics to wrap both bride and corpse and associating blue with the sadness of separation. Visions of blue add symbolic fuel to both birth and the ikatting process, imbuing them with sacred qualities. It is a short step to believe that cloth enhances fertility and protects humans from harm.
Janet Hoskins, “Why Do Ladies Sing the Blues? Indigo Dyeing, Cloth Production, and Gender Symbolism in Kodi.”
The changing funeral ceremonies of the seventeenth-century English aristocracy might be seen as heralding a related transformation. As they became increasingly expressive of private loss, these funerals no longer allowed kin groups, through spectacular cloth presentations, to channel death into regeneration and political gain. In earlier times, the mourners had received black drapes from the kin of the deceased; now, to accompany the funeral cortege, they had to supply their own. Cloth no longer expressed the continuity of the groups with ancestral authority and their reproduction through time.
Under Capitalism, the domain of cloth manufacture seems incapable of generating or sustaining ideas of benevolent spiritual or ancestral involvement in the production process, or analogies between this process and the reproduction of offspring. Even when manufacturing is organized through home industries and involves considerable handwork- even when factory production has yet to emerge- market pressures to cheapen and streamline labor prevent spinners, weavers, dyers and finishers, from thinking about or ritually acknowledging the transmission of a sacred ancestry through cloth.
-Cloth and Human Experience, Edited by Annette B. Weiner and Jane Schneider. Wenner- Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. 1989.
The U.S.’s reputation for quality is benefiting upscale labels as more Americans question where their goods come from, and how their buying affects the economy, said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing Inc.
"Made in America feeds into the values proposition," she said. "They are voting with their money not just for U.S. jobs, but for a way of life. In 2007, they were on a spending jag -they weren’t thinking about things like this."
Now that they are, luxury-goods makers in the U.S., the largest market, stand to profit: Almost twothirds of wealthy consumers say they try to buy American when they can. Global spending on luxury apparel, accessories, watches, jewelry, perfume and other products may climb to about $260 billion U.S. in 2011 from $245 billion U.S. last year, excluding currency moves, Bain & Co. said May 3 in a report.
More than three-quarters of affluent consumers surveyed this year by American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group, a luxury research firm, said they like brands made in America, up five percentage points from 2008. Sixty-five per cent say they try to buy U.S. products whenever possible, a threepoint gain.
Among more than 1,300 affluent shoppers surveyed by Unity in April, the U.S. ranked highest on an index measuring the quality of its luxury goods manufacturing, scoring 267 compared with an average of 100, the Stevens, Pennsylvania-based firm said. That topped Italy and France, home to Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA and Hermes International SCA, respectively.