Kuba textiles are elaborate embroidered cloth made of raffia fiber, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are unique in their elaboration and complexity of design and surface decoration. Most textiles are a variation on rectangular or square pieces of woven raffia fiber enhanced by geometric designs executed in linear embroidery in flat-stitch and cut-pile stitching, the latter creating surfaces resembling velvet.
The Khasa are strip-woven wool blankets from the Fulani people in West Africa. Many of the Fulani live a nomadic life. The heavy Khasa blankets serve to protect the cattle herders (Wodaabe) from the cold in winter and the mosquitos, their weight and thickness being important for this purpose. Typically, after use by the herders, the blankets are sold to traders, repaired and resold throughout West Africa.
Barkcloth is a versatile material that was once common in Asia, Africa, Indonesia, and the Pacific. Barkcloth comes primarily from trees of the Moraceae family, including Broussonetia papyrifera, Artocarpus altilis, and Ficus natalensis. It is made by beating sodden strips of the fibrous inner bark of these trees into sheets, which are then finished into a […]
Quilting is the process of sewing two or more layers of fabric together to make a thicker padded material, usually to create a quilt or quilted garment. Typically, quilting is done with three layers: the top fabric or quilt top, batting or insulating material and backing material, but many different styles are adopted. The process of quilting uses a needle and thread to join two or […]
Patchwork, also known as “pieced work,” is a type of needlework where small pieces of fabric are stitched together to form a larger design. The design often consists of repeating patterns that are created by combining various fabric shapes, each of which may be a different color. The fabric shapes are meticulously measured and cut […]
Darning is a sewing technique for repairing holes or worn areas in fabric or knitting using needle and thread alone. It is often done by hand, but it is also possible to darn with a sewing machine. Hand darning employs the darning stitch, a simple running stitch in which the thread is “woven” in rows along the grain of the fabric, with the stitcher reversing direction at the end of each row, […]
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