Kuba cloth featuring mud dyeing, patchwork and applique

Kuba cloth featuring mud dyeing, patchwork and applique


Kuba cloth is a hand-woven cloth made from the fib of Raphia Vinifera palm leaves.  Kuba people of the Congo first hand cut, and then weave the strips of leaf to make pieces of fabric, often called raffia cloth.

There are several different sub groups of the Kuba people. Each group has different and unique ways to make the fabric. Some make it thicker, longer, shorter, or with different patches. Each patch is symbolic and many times a piece has many different meanings.

This is a ‘full size’ Kuba cloth, as it has not been shortened.  At 5.2m long this piece shows three distinct techniques seen in Kuba cloth.  The chequerboard patchwork useapprox. 4.5cm squares.   This is complimented by applique – each panel having a different design and a variety of toned colours.   The third technique is ‘mud cloth’ dyeing, which is then used in strips.

This piece also has an edge of tiny raffia pom poms which indicates that the piece has some age.  It is very unusual to see these pom poms in contemporary pieces. 

A very good article about Kuba cloths can be found at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuba_textiles

Product code:  1142

Size:  730mm x 5260 mm

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