Saturday, March 09, 2013

memory cloth

Last November I visited Canada's textile museum in Toronto and saw this raffia skirt from Cote d'Ivoire, Africa.
Made by Dida women, the fabric is raffia woven without a loom, dyed with plants and marked very beautifully with tied resist.
posted here so that I don't forget this very real object


  1. Well worth remembering.

  2. Wow! Not a highly intelligent comment, but...well, wow!

  3. Love the patterns.

  4. Hard for me to imagine woven raffia.. must be very small fibers? Beautiful.

  5. It feels alive. In rhythmic motion. Lovely.

  6. depths and layers, opening and closing and yes, wow...

  7. Gorgeous and earthy.

  8. this is indeed something to remember. thanks for sharing it.

  9. I love the earthiness.

  10. This from the label placed beside the item:

    Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Lakota
    late 19th-20th Century
    Raffia, plant roots off loom tubular oblique interlacing resist-dyed
    Opeka/Webster collection T94.3016

    This tubular skirt is made by Dida women, from raffia of the viana fera palm tree. The outer surface of the leaf is stripped off, and the inner layer is dried in the sun and then shredded into fires.
    The set of raffia fibres - the total number can reach as many as 1500 - is tied together and attached to a vertical tree trunk, and then divided into a set of warp threads and a set of weft threads.
    Working on the diagonal the maker weaves each warp thread over and under a weft thread until she has reached the end.
    The patterns are achieed by means of tied resists and dyed with natural colours.
    Without the size limitations of loom-wevaing, this direct interlacing process makes it possible to create magnificent large pieces of oblique interlacing.

  11. Love to see that ripple structure of the tieing ...

  12. i enjoy imagining what each shape symbolizes . . . and maybe the shapes don't symbolize or tally or mark anything at all. but still, there are stories upon stories upon stories.

  13. I have always been moved by this piece I have a piece in my sewing room where I am trying to reproduce the look thanks for the reminder.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx