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Weaving Workshop, Kenya

Nov 2

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11/2/2009 12:30 PM  RssIcon

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In September 2009, the German Speaking Lutheran Congregation in Nairobi, Kenya, asked me if I could help with the creation of some new designs for their Weaving Workshop. This is a group of 2 weavers and 2 assistants who iron the pieces, cut the weft, and knot the edges. I took a photo of the group outside the trailer that houses some of the finished products, supplies and ironing facilities. This workshop has been in existence for a long time and is known in Kenya for their rugs and table mats made of bright bold stripes of cotton tee material. Their quality is excellent and consistently of high quality.

I reviewed their past and present rug designs and discovered that over the years, the variations in their styles of stripes were truly diverse. I took this as a challenge and decided to introduce something other than horizontal stripes. I created a series of rug profiles based on a weft faced twill weave.

George More is their head weaver. He adapted fairly quickly to the changes in treadling and throws that are required to create weft faced twills on the fabrics. The resulting twill rug did weave into a thicker rug with the same diameter weft yarn, so the group decided to weave more of their traditional stripes for their Christmas Bazaars. We shall see if this new technique will catch on later when thinner weft strips can be provided and there is more time to become proficient in this new technique.

 

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