Banjara Textile Scraps

This year at the International Quilt Festival, I bought these fabulous scraps.  They were labeled “Banjara textiles from Afghanistan.”

Collection of Banjara scraps.


Stitches on red twill fabric.

Bright yellow stitches.

The back of one of the pieces.

banjara embroidery with metallic threads and mirrors

This piece is stitched onto cardboard, with old papers in between the layers.

banjara textile with metallic thread

Close-up of the metallic threads and mirrors.


I had never heard of Banjara textiles before, so of course I went looking online for information, and I found amazing resources.  Whenever there is a segment of the textile world that is new to me, I have mixed emotions:  How have I missed this so long?  and Yay!  I have a new world to discover!

A book, Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe, was published in 2016.  It was reviewed in the magazine The World of Interiors, and that review gives concise background information on the culture that produced these textiles.  The authors have been back to their research area, Madya Pradesh in India, to hand out copies of the book to people who helped them research. I am pretty sure that this book will be a Christmas present, from me to me.

Hunting down the details on that book led me to the company Maiwa, in Vancouver, BC.  You have to look at their About page!  It has a 48-page treasury of beautiful photographs and haunting statements.  And now I want to move to Vancouver for half the year and take all of their spring classes.

The only thing I have done with these scraps so far is hang them on the wall with Hmong, Andean, and Syrian textiles that I already had, to make an inspiring display.

collection of inspiring textiles

My current collection of inspiring textiles and pictures.

Sometimes it’s not what you make with the scraps, but where the scraps lead you, that is the interesting thing.

ScrapHappy Day is the 15th of each month.  It is hosted by Kate and Gun, and I encourage you to visit the other participants, and see what they have crafted from scraps this month:

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen (me!), Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.