Friday, 29 March 2013

Social Fabric

I stopped by in London yesterday on my way home for Easter break. I went to the British Museum as I was keen to see the African Textiles. There is currently a free exhibition displaying printed cloth (Kanga). In Africa men sometimes dress in the same pattern of cloth as women to show unity and friendship. I think this is a fun idea but the colours and patterns of textiles also communicate other important information such as belief and social status to include inscriptions that often link to the choice of pattern.

The Kanga design consists of a continuous border with a central image; a development from sewing together printed handkerchiefs. The cotton and wool Kanga on display had been printed by hand using stencils or hand stamped with carved wooden blocks. I found this exhibition really interesting and felt the display had been thoughtfully chosen. This has given me lots of inspiration for my next collection as I am hopeful I will have time to squeeze in one more before the degree show! 

And I leave you with this Kanga inscription:
"I may be quiet but there's a lot in my heart"

Happy Easter


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