Of warp and weft

Six weaving projects from across the globe that exemplify what's possible when the ancient technique is combined with progressive design.
Posted 2 Jan 15 By Design Indaba Craft RoundUp / Focus On Comments

Moroccan rugs, reloaded

Colombian-American textile and fashion designer Sabrina Kraus López teaches Berber weavers in rural Morocco to look with new eyes at their culture and environment for design inspiration in their traditional rug designs. Watch our video interview with her here.

Rethinking raffia in Ghana

Inspired by the traditional raffia weaving tradition in her home country, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi of AAKS began producing a range of woven handbags using the age-old skills of local women. “I loved the weaving and patterns on them. I wanted to create my own basket bag with a twist, a bag that was foldable almost like a leather bag so I could travel with it,” says this young designer, who studied fashion at Kingston University in England. See more of her designs here.

Radical rattan design from Brazil

The Campana Brothers are no strangers to working in rattan. Their experiments with wicker have included mixing it with plastic garden chairs for their TransPlastic range in 2007 to sculptures embedded with glass light fittings in 2010. Sao Paulo-based Fernando and Humberto’s latest design celebrates handwoven rattan in a single undulating form. See our Product Spotlight here.

Bulbous baskets in Bulawayo

The French product designer Matali Crasset gives us a firsthand account of her time spent working with Zimbabwean weavers to develop new baskets based on the shape of the gourd. Read her story here.

Playing with palm weaving in Burkina Faso

We chat to the organisers of the Hors Pistes project, which pairs European designers with foreign artisans, as they wrap up a workshop in Banfora, Burkina Faso. The designers spent the month of October living in Banfora in the southern part of Burkina Faso, collaborating with the Benkadi Gouafo association of female palm weavers and two Tuareg jewellers from Niger. Read ourminterview here.

Materials mashup in South Africa

Cape Town-based craft producer Design Afrika is well known for its finely crafted handiwork that includes an array of woven baskets, bags and furniture pieces. This exquisite trio of unusual woven vessels each employs an unexpected material combination to great effect. See more here.