Sierra Leone, Country Cloth, Mahei Blanket
Product name: Mahei
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 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 for weaving.
Materials: cotton, natural bush dyes
Colours: green, indigo, orange rust, black.
All natural color mixes in a variety of designs.