Wednesday, October 4, 2017

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textiles: Week 35

 Tanzania Textile: Kanga Cloth

It has been very difficult for me to cut this brightly colored rectangular cotton cloth from Tanzania.   Printed sometime in the 1990's this Kanga cloth is the youngest piece of textile I am using for a handmade textile book.
It is also the only textile from East Africa.  There is so much history embedded into this textile.

Like most Kanga cloth, this one is composed of 3 parts.
1.  The pindo (the border)
2. The miji (the central design)
3. Ujumbe or jina (the message or proverb written in Swahili)
The proverb on this cloth is Raha Ya Dunia Ni Watoto (The happiness of the world is children)
I tried several different ways to design (or re-design) the cloth so that it would become a book page.  
I really wanted to play with the patterns along the borders and the within the miji.  Knowing that I only had a limited amount of fabric, with no way of getting more, I decided to use one of my favorite quilting patterns, the log cabin.  
Overall, I am happy with the final design.  I will use the Ujumbe on a different page.

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