“Architectural Textiles: Tent Bands of Central Asia highlights a unique and fundamental weaving: the tent band”. The trellis tent has made nomadic life possible across Central Asia for at least 1500 years. An important component of its construction is a woven tent band, which girdles and braces the lower part of the wooden roof struts against the heavy load of felts and the force of strong winds. Beyond that function, tent bands are often elaborately decorated.
The exhibition includes approximately 40 tent bands made by different Central Asian ethnic groups, including Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Kazakh, and representing a wide range of structures, colors, designs and materials. Period photographs of nomadic life and weaving provide context and an educational gallery teaches visitors how to “read” a tent band. Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., through August 19.