I fell in love with the textures and patterns found within hand woven African kuba cloth when I first set eyes on it years ago. African kuba cloth is an amazing textile that is woven from natural grasses found in the Congo region of Africa where indigenous tribes weave their art. You will see authentic kuba cloth in very high-end interiors where kuba cloth adds depth with the history and character it possesses. Used to dramatic effect by designer Serena Crawford, the long kuba cloth panels are one of a kind treasures taking the place of traditional drapes.
When you see a piece of African kuba cloth, you might not consider it an upholstery fabric at first glance. But creative designers have enlisted the vintage African textile for many an upholstery project. Above, the midcentury style ottomans get new life when covered with the geometric patterns of the grass kuba cloth. Interior Philosophy Atl used a dark stain on the legs of the global-style foot stools to compliment the hand appliquéd kuba cloth textiles.
I have only one source for these amazing tie dyed kuba cloth textiles from Africa. This variety is known as a N'gongo Tribe tie-dyed raffia dance skirt. This rare N'dongo or Ngeende tie dyed/stitch resist raffia Is a lighter weight than the Kuba cloth in my shop because there is no appliqué. Instead, a tie-dye and resist technique creates the patterned decoration. All hand made and one-of-a-kind. You won't see an example like this anywhere else! When I find them I add them in my shop, but this type of Kuba cloth is few and far between. I have shown them hung as wall art, but Farmhaus Antiques created several one of a kind pillows with the tie dyed kuba textile and they look amazing.
Vintage kuba cloth comes in many sizes and shapes. You can decorate a wall with African kuba cloth to incorporate hand-crafted artistry to a space. Kuba cloth can be casually hung without any frame, but it takes on a more formal appearance when framed as shown above.
The rare kuba cloth shown above was an acquisition I recently made for the Morrissey Fabric shop. It has an unusual hand-woven eyelet-like zig-zag detail combined with raised cording and conch shells. Often the conch shells are removed so the weight of the kuba cloth will be reduced for shipping to the United States where I am located. Fortunately this was not the case here. All the shells remained in tact so we can appreciate the beauty of this collectible kuba cloth textile.
You will find a large selection of African kuba cloth here in the on-line shop or find even more in the Morrissey Fabric Etsy shop.