Recently a Morrissey Fabric customer sent me this photo because she knew I carried a variety of Kuba Cloth textiles in my shop. I had to admit I had not seen Kuba cloth used for upholstery in this way before. What stood out to me was the ivory color suede of the seats and chair backs. This light ivory hue prevented the black ground of the authentic Kuba cloth from appearing too heavy. Using African Kuba cloth to upholster chair backs isn't new, but combining it back to a much lighter color presented a fresh contemporary touch.
Photo: Space Interior Design (Instagram)
Kuba cloth has been a staple in my shop nearly as long as African indigo. The first few pieces I purchased from an African dealer were small and could be made into pillow covers. Since then, I've seen Kuba cloth used in many different ways. Above is a custom pillow made for a customer by request. Since each Kuba cloth is hand made and one of a kind, every pillow cover will be unique. Not only does Kuba cloth originate in the Congo, Africa, it is all woven by hand within small villages there. Local grasses are the fiber used and natural dyes create the color combinations.
Photo: Morrissey Fabric
African Kuba Cloth works extremely well as wall art. Kuba cloth can be formally framed and matted as seed above. Or you can frame Kuba cloth with the edges exposed. This is nice when the edges have fringe. If you are on a budget, you can simply hang your Kuba cloth with small push pins directly onto the wall. I've seen Kuba cloth displayed in each of these methods and they all work quite well.
Kuba cloth pillow pile! All the one-of-a-kind pillows seen in the photo above are terrific examples of just how unique each Kuba cloth is. So even if you decide on a Kuba cloth pillow, there are many options. The velvet-like texture of the pillow placed center front in the photo is nick-named kasai velvet. This isn't as soft as a cotton or rayon velvet by any stretch. But the luxurious appearance is created similarly; by cutting the loops of woven fibers.
Photo: Anitavee's Home Decor
The Kuba cloth pillow above also showcases a version of kasai velvet. This particular Kuba cloth was likely woven to be a wall hanging because when I purchased it the textile was attached to a dark wood stick for hanging. The gentleman who bought this cloth from my shop wanted a pillow that honored the original intent of the cloth. So rather than cut a face and sew it to a linen or cotton back, we collaborated and decided to keep the side details as part of the finished pillow design.
Photo: Morrissey Fabric
Kuba cloth also comes tie-dyed. It's not nearly as easy to find, but it's out there. The pillows above were created with one of these more rare tie-dyed Kuba cloth textiles. When I find this type of Kuba cloth, I purchase several for the shop.
Photo credit: LA Viva Home.com
When you are ready to add a piece of authentic Kuba cloth to your home decor, please be sure to view the large selection available in my Etsy shop.