African Beauty

It’s ¨Fabric Friday¨ around here which means it’s time for another favorite fabric & pattern find. Today it’s gonna be the African Kuba Cloth that I’ve only discovered recently. Kuba cloths are African tribal fabrics that are woven and embroided with rectangular patches, displayed in different geometric designs. They look great as accent pillow covers, runners or wall coverings and here’s what Wiki has to say about them:

Café Design | Kuba Cloth

¨Kuba textiles are unique in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire, for their elaboration and complexity of design and surface decoration. Most textiles are a variation on rectangular or square pieces of woven palm leaf fiber enhanced by geometric designs executed in linear embroidery and other stitches, which are cut to form pile surfaces resembling velvet. Women are responsible for transforming raffia cloth into various forms of textiles, including ceremonial skirts, ‘velvet’ tribute cloths, headdresses and basketry.¨ (Wikipedia)

Café Design | Kuba Cloth

{bedroom design by Lauren Liess Interiors}

¨African Kuba cloth is just starting to become popular in the United States. Using the leaf of the raffia tree, the Kuba people of the Congo first hand cut, and then weave the strips of leaf to make pieces of fabric, often called raffia cloth. There are several different sub groups of the Kuba people and each group has different and unique ways to make the fabric, some make it thicker, longer or with different patches. Each patch is symbolic and many times a piece has many different meanings. When Kuba cloth originated there were probably no patches used, but as the cloth is brittle, it is quite likely that the patches were used to repair the frequent tears. Later each patch developed a meaning so that many patterns are uniquely arranged to tell a story.¨ (via African Imports) Beautiful!

Café Design | Kuba Cloth

{designer Kendall Conrad’s Santa Barbara home office}

If you’d like to add them to your décor, Etsy and Ebay are as usual the best place to shop 🙂

Have a great weekend!