Outstanding heirloom wedding blanket cover from the tiny Maonan ethnic minority of Guangxi, China. This piece dates from the 19th century and is composed of a hemp fiber foundation, natural dyed cotton (possibly hemp and cotton combination) background field with floss silk supplementary brocade weft symbols of phoenix, flowers and butterflies, and is in perfect condition with no holes or tears (minor wear of course), which is testament to the durability and hard wearingness of hemp material. Hemp is a very time consuming and labor intensive material to work with as compared to cotton, and in general used only the most remote communities of Southwest China. Some of the more brightly colored purple aniline dyed silk threads have been rewoven into the patterns probably within the last 40 years but are certainly not new. This is a two panel blanket which is the norm for the Maonan, with brown and blue handwoven borders. L: 152cm/61in and W: 113cm/44.5in (with border), actual textile size- L: 124cm/45in and W: 72cm/28in. Anyone interested in a more in depth study of these weaving techniques I would highly recommend the Spring issue of Hali Magazine, issue 155 for an excellent article by Eric Boudot: Woven Bedcovers of Southwest China’s Ethnic Minorities.