Vintage Woven Kuba Cloth Square, Africa, Republic of Congo (3781A-FLK) $95

$95.00

H: 18″  W: 18″ | FREE SHIPPING!

Woven from strands of raffia palm leaves, this vintage Kuba cloth reflects the traditional fabric traditions of the Kuba people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a typically bordered square with rough textural surfaces interspersed with repeated geometric patterns and embellished with sophisticated embroidered, applique and patchwork linear designs of interlocking meandering patterns of vegetable dye shades of dark brown and ivory in a natural flat-weave pattern framed with tufted-cut pile raffia and applique.

 

 

Description

Kuba cloth is a renowned African textile made for centuries in Central Africa in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Creating Kuba cloth is time and labor-intensive; a simple piece like this can take several days in a process shared by men and women. Men collect raffia; strip leaves from the fiber, color them with vegetable dyes in shades of ivory, brown, clay red and indigo blue; rub strands to soften them and weave fibers into strips using a unique Kuba heddle loom. They may dye the fabric again or soften it further by kneading the fabric. Women then create unique patterned textiles by stitching the geometric raffia pieces onto a plain raffia background and finish and embellish the cloth with other techniques including embroidery, appliqué and patchwork. The raffia fiber is drawn through with a needle and snipped to create a dense plush pile resulting in its unique design elements: juxtaposition of differing geometric forms, asymmetrical patterns, combinations of different textural elements, and disrupted linear patterns to form an earthy, rough, three-dimensional surface texture highlighted by repeated asymmetric geometric patterns. As many textiles, patterns may communicate the owner’s age, social or marital status and tribe. Now in vogue, vintage and contemporary pieces are used in many design aspects fostering a growing market for folk-art vintage pieces. Claims House Beautiful Magazine, “If you’re seeking an eye-catching, handsome print to bring richness to a certain corner of your home, you’ll likely find a Kuba cloth style to incorporate beautifully into your decor. ” See other African-art and textiles, Vintage Kuba Cloth Rectangular Textile (3781B-FLK) and Yoruba Cowrie Shells Crown (1657BSK) for complementary accessories.

Sources:

Contemporary “African art, Kuba Cloth”,

Cultural Elements Blog, “What is Kuba Cloth?”

Gabriel Davenport, The Real History of Kuba Cloth”, House Beautiful, October, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional information

Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin

Africa

Period

Vintage (1920-1980)

Date

1920-1980

Materials and Technique

Cloth

Dimensions (inches)

: Ht: 18” W: 18”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 35.56cm W: 53.34cm for 3781B

Weight

4.1oz

Condition

Excellent, age appropriate signs of wear

Reference Number

3187A-FLK

Shipping Box Size