Banjara Textile Scraps
This year at the International Quilt Festival, I bought these fabulous scraps. They were labeled “Banjara textiles from Afghanistan.”
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.
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, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen (me!), Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.
Those textiles are mind expanding…..thank you for including links to these people.
I am looking forward to listening to the Maiwa podcasts too, they seem to be doing a lot of good in the world!
Ah-mazing! I must follow up on the links you provided. I love textiles from all over the world too. The handwork of third-world women blows my mind.
I know! Years ago, I went to a talk about women in Bhutan, I think — they grew their own flax and indigo, and then spun, wove, and dyed the cloth, and then did these tiny little pleats to make it into a skirt, and then embroidered it! It just fills me with awe.
I think these would be wonderful just as a display of the wonderful textile creativity in our world. Sadly, this exquisite work is not what most people know of Afghanistan.
I know. When I was looking around the Maiwa website, they had a page about a museum exhibit they did, and they said that the needleworkers wondered why Western people would want to frame their work and hang it on the wall and look at it. I think it definitely belongs there, although it is nice to have some outside museum walls too.
Your textile wall is fascinating. I need to do something like that! Interesting textiles!
I really love it, it is like a quick and easy index of ideas to try or to add to a work in progress.
I think you HAVE made something with the scraps: a beautiful and eloquent textile installation that will remind you of what you’ve learned every time you look at it.
Oh, thank you, I love the idea of that as an installation! It makes me feel very artistic. 🙂
You always do find the most amazing things! These are colorful, textural, and quite lovely to look at.