Sierra Leone, Country Cloth, Madina Blanket
Product name: MADINA
Type of product: Blanket
Description (story of the item): Here in Sierra Leone a unique type of loom is used. The warp threads are stretched around poles some distance apart to maintain the tension, then the mechanics of weaving are hung from a tripod of sticks, which can be easily moved along as the strip is woven. The tripod is lashed at the top, reminding me of ‘gadget making’ in the Girl Guides (probably itself a skill no longer used). The weaver is free to come and go during weaving without affecting the tension on the warp threads. The weaver sits beside the tripod pressing alternate foot pedals to create to create long strips of woven cloth. Traditionally these strips are then sewn together, edge to edge to form simple blanket with simple patterns. Blankets, hammocks, dress robes are creatively woven with hand dyed, farmed cotton hand spooled yarn. Yarn is made from harvesting cotton and single spooled to create long threads that are then dyed with natural pure bush grown dyes. Some of these dyes are indigo, kola bark. The dyed yarns are then used to for weaving.
Blankets are traditionally made from locally grown cotton that is spun into thread, dyed, and woven into strips on a tripod loom. The strips are then sewn together edge to edge to form the finished cloth. Such cloth was, in the past, regarded as a sign or wealth and Prestige.
Materials: cotton, natural bush dyes