Adanwomase , Ghana
Kente Factory Adanwomase Reviews
learning to weave the single thread kente May 07, 2011
I learned to weave at Kente factory in Adanwomase in the Ashanti region! Upon arriving at the kente factory the van was greeted by a throng of kids ranging in age from 5-16 selling various things, trying to stick their hands and products through the open window, etc.
I got out of the van and walked into the factory, where one of the workers explained that traditionally, weaving is a male job and females are not allowed to weave. But he'd make an exception for me which is just a way to allow me to weave and make some money afterwards by selling me some really expensive, but authentic Kente cloth. Regardless, he explained that women aren't allowed to weave because of their menstrual cycles which are viewed as unclean, and b/c women aren't able to sit for 12 hr shifts. The men work from 6 am to 6 pm, 6 days a week.
I learned to weave a single thread cloth. There are single, double and triple thread cloth, so advanced... I am NOT :). The price of the kente cloth increases as the intricacy of the weave increases.
I learned that each pattern has a name and the Ashanti patterns are standardized, the weavers don't just randomly weave pretty patterns and colors. Some patterns can only be worn by the king and other royalty. The "family is unity" pattern is considered ancient and only the ancient patterns are woven with silk thread, the other patterns are woven with rayon, lucky commoners huh.
Learning about and learning the actually process were so much fun. I even took pictures of me on my little loom weaving away. First you take off your shoes, sit on a little weaver's stool, place the little pulley levers with wooden circles (called treadles) between your toes, push down with your right foot to create a space between the thread for the shuttle loaded with spool to go through to the other side, then you pull the thing to tighten the string to make it a tight weave, then you repeat the process from the left side. It's really like pushing down a gas pedal. I'm a single weaving machine. :)
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