Looms in Ghana for weaving Kente cloth

Ghanaian Kente Loom

This is a loom in Ghana used to weave Kente cloth.  The 2 harnesses in front, with dark string heddles, are used to weave plain weave in the warp-striped sections.  The other two in the back with white string heddles are used to weave the patterns sections that are weft-faced.  The figure in the pattern sections is inlay, pick-up.  One pair of harness is used in one part of the weaving then the other pair are used.Tien says:

 

The Ewe weaving I was taught used two pairs of shafts, one white pair which was used to weave pattern, threaded 1-1-1-1-2-2-2-2 (i.e. “plainweave” except with four threads in each heddle) with groups of four threads in each heddle, and one blue pair, which was threaded with single threads in a plainweave pattern. Each thread passed through both pairs of heddles. Given the threading and the sett (which I haven’t measured yet, but the thread we were using was roughly the weight of sewing thread), the plainweave sections came out as a balanced weave (equal parts warp and weft showing), while the pattern section, having 4 ends in each heddle, came out weft-faced, with no warp showing.

 

This photo and more about this type of weaving can be seen at Tien Chiu's blog, http://www.tienchiu.com/travels/ghana/kente-weaving-in-ghana/.

 

Comments

Posted on Tue, 01/11/2011 - 19:23

Karren, My Grandson is currently in Ghana for a month working on a Project called "Pure Home Water", to bring safe drinking water to the village.  I sent some money with him and asked him to see if he could purchase some Kente cloth for me while he is there.  I'm hopeful.. and anxious to see what he may find.  Middy