Weaving Cultures and Traditions
• American Indians – blankets and rugs
• Asian – carpets and clothing
• African – kente cloth
• South American and Mexican – tapestries
• Middle Eastern – carpets and clothing
• Pacific peoples – roofs, matts, hats and
• American Indians weaving
• Indian weaver preparing his warp
• Middle Eastern woman and
Egyptian slaves weaving children weaving a rug
• Indian weaver at a manual loom
• Hawaiian lauhala weavings •African man weaving kente cloth
Many uses of weaving
• Mosquito netting (tribes in the Amazon)
Weaving is the textile art in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads, called the
warp and the filling or weft (older woof), are interlaced with each other to form a
fabric or cloth.
• The manner in which the warp and filling threads interlace with each other is known
as the weave. The three basic weaves are plain weave, satin weave, and twill, and
the majority of woven products are created with one of these weaves.
• Egyptians were weaving clothes using the flax fiber as early as 5000
• Ancient Persians were weaving carpets dating back to 500 BC.
• The Incas wove clothing and tapestries of fine wool in the 1400s.
• Textile weaving was a dominant craft among pre-contact tribes of
the American southwest, using cotton dyed with pigments, in the
• African people from Ghana and Ivory Coast have been weaving
kente cloth made of silk since 1200s.
• Hawaiians and the peoples of the Pacific (Samoans, Figians,
Marshall Islands) have been performing the ancient craft of luahala
weaving using the leaves of the hala tree.
Hawaiian Lauhala Weaving
• Woven from leaves of the Hala tree.
Navajo Woven Blankets and Rugs
•Teec Nos Pos" (colorful,
with very extensive
• Two Gray Hills" (predominantly
black and white, with traditional
Ganado" (red dominated patterns
with black and white)
Kente Cloth Symbolic meanings of the colors in
black -- maturation, intensified
Asante kente is blue -- peacefulness, harmony and
identified by its love
dazzling, green -- vegetation, planting,
multicolored harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal
patterns of bright gold -- royalty, wealth, high status,
colors, glory, spiritual purity
geometric grey -- healing and cleansing rituals;
shapes and bold associated with ash
designs maroon -- the color of mother earth;
associated with healing
pink -- assoc. with the female
essence of life; a mild, gentle aspect
purple -- assoc. with feminine
aspects of life; usually worn by
red -- political and spiritual moods;
bloodshed; sacrificial rites and death.
silver -- serenity, purity, joy; assoc.
with the moon
white -- purification, sanctification
rites and festive occasions
yellow -- preciousness, royalty,
Kilims The patterns are predominantly geometric
and the most common layouts on Ardabil
rugs are medallions, multiple connected
diamond-shaped medallions, and all-over
Hand weaving of Persian carpets
and kilims have been an important
element of the tribal crafts of
many of the subregions of modern
An industrial jacquard loom
Weaving on a cardboard loom.
• Project Criteria:
• * minimum 3 colors
• * must have fringe ("rya") in at least one place
• * must use the "slot box" weaving method to
change colors in a single row in at least 2
sections of the weaving
• * weaving must be even (not too tight, not too
• * entire loom must be utilized