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The artisans would usually leave the weft undyed, and the produced cloth would usually feature linear, colored stripes.
The Dogon people who inhabit Burkina Faso and Mali make a type of cloth which resembles country cloth, especially in that it is hand-woven and naturally dyed, which features designs made using an undyed warp.
For example, the color of a healer’s white garb might hint at a connection to water spirits, which were believed to promote healing and fertility.
Each tribe would have their own textile design, which was used as a way to identify their own people.
, which explores weaves in Asia, we continue the series by discussing the history of weaving in Africa, and present you with various textiles that can be found in this beautiful continent!
African textiles are a part of the cultural heritage of its people.
The African weavers used natural dyes, which were made using various plants, in order to color their yarns, or even their finished cloths.
The cloth would be dyed by female artisans, however in the communal dye pits of the ancient city of Kano, men could often be seen working as well.
In some cases, the Yoruba people’s artisans would teach the boys how to weave, and the girls how to spin the yarn.
Some of the children would take up weaving as early as 4 years old.
The looms that were traditionally used were the double heddle loom, which was used for narrow strips of fabric, the single heddle loom, which was used for wider spans of cloth, and the ground or pit loom.
The heddle-type looms are indigenous to the region, whereas the pit loom is used in specific parts of the continent, and is of Middle Eastern origin.