At Kauli, we carefully curate some of the most characteristic textiles from West, North, East, South, and Central Africa. They vary in age - from antique to vintage to contemporary - so that our ranges represent a rich timeline of textile development from different points on the continent. Many of the fabrics we select for our products are the size of blankets, and therefore our collections are rare, limited and remarkably unique.
African textiles are designed to be worn and admired, and our goal is to participate in this enchanting tradition by applying them to high-quality products that wearers and admirers can carry with them and share with the world.
In the line of many art forms in Africa, folk textile production merges aesthetics with purpose. The human body exceeds the gallery wall as the most charming display for the very best fabrics of the continent. In this context - on a living person - two dimensions of a textile’s beauty become visible : the allure of their composition and the elegance of their functionality.
The eye power of African fabrics acquires a deeper, more meaningful, attraction when the viewer discerns that these cloths are highly symbolic. Some textiles serve as woven scrolls, capturing the histories, philosophies and mythologies of cultures in shapes and motifs; some are of the moment, celebrating (or mourning) the transitions of life - birth, adulthood, marriage, death and the arrival into the spiritual world.
The salience of a fabric’s theme aligns with the tenuousness of their fabrication. The weaving process is often performed on archaic looms that yield narrow stripweaves, ranging from 2.5 cms to 45.7 cms in width, to be sewn together selvedge-to-selvedge. Decoration is then included through dyeing, stitching and painting methods or sometimes through the weaving process itself.
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