This line of jewellery is inspired by Kuba cloth. Of particular interest is the interruption of the expected line and the disruption of previous western style fixation with ‘repeats’. This aspect makes each Kuba clothe unique and yet there is this satisfying sense of accomplished composition and design that does not rely on regularity or ‘repeats’
The patterns are elaborate and complex resulting in easily recognised design and surface decoration. These are composed through juxtapositions of sharply differing units and abrupt shifts of form.
Raffia palm is the main material used to weave. The strands are dyed in a variety of earth tones using vegetable dyes. Cut pile – bungy carpet-like cloth is one option of flat weave is the other
Men grow harvest and weave the raffia – women are in charge of the decorating. Kuba embroiderer’s representation of textile structures in their compositions underscores both the value of weaving to the culture and the prestige attached to women art who use embroidery, appliqué and patchwork as the mains decorative methods. The strands are dyed in a variety of earth tones using vegetable dyes. Cut pile – ‘bungy’ carpet-like cloth is one option of flat weave is the other.
Traditionally, the Kuba have used these cloth to make skirts and wraps, head wraps – sleeping mats and as currency for batter. Contemporary use among textile enthusiast includes accents on bags and as embellishments as well as soft furnishings and wall hangings and Jewellery.
Kuba cloth is distinctively evocative of central Africa. It’s graphics and pattern – with line not so straight and repetitions not so regular make this fabric unique and the reason for its popularity among ethnic prints enthusiasts.
Prints based on Kuba cloth are developed by contemporary fashion interiors and textile designers and can be found in the form of prints on cotton and other fabric depending on needs
‘Twool’ is the dye used and is believed to be imbued with magical and protective properties.