script> Africa Moto: African Textile Love: Decorate with Kuba Cloth

Monday, April 6, 2015

African Textile Love: Decorate with Kuba Cloth

I love pillows made from handmade African textiles. They add so much texture and pattern to a home. I am hoping to add Kuba pillows and framed Kuba art to my home from my husband's upcoming travels.  

Authentic Kuba (pronounced koo-BAH) cloth is a tactile cloth made in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is arguably the most elegant  cloth in the world! This fabric has inspired and fascinated many artists and designers including Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, and Henry Matisse. Africa Kuba cloth is recognized as a major contributor to the history of world art. Kuba cloth's appeal is its lovely abstract geometric patterns and earth tones.

         Kuba Wrapper at LA Museum

How Kuba Cloth is Made

Emerging in the 17th century, the Kuba kingdom grew into a powerful and wealthy confederation in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The cloth was traditionally worn as a symbol of status by royalty and for ceremonial events.

The making of Kuba cloth is a collaborative and time-consuming process. The cultivation and weaving are traditionally done by men.  The men peel the raffia bast fibers  from the leaves of the raffia palm tree by hand. The leave is then hand woven into strips on a single heddle loom. Women then  use a variety of techniques to make the cloth including velvet embroidery, geometric applique, patchwork, and resist-dyeing.

Get decor inspired with these kuba looks

Here are some ways you can inject some pattern  into your own home.

You can frame it...

...learn how to frame your handmade African Kuba cloth here.

                                     Elegant framed Kuba art via Traditional Home

Add throw pillows...

                                              Shoowa Velvet Kuba Throw Pillow via Dar Leone

                                                               Kuba Pillow via Chairish


Reupholster a stool or chair...

                                                              Kuba cloth stool via Elle Decor

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