Friday, 4 September 2009

New acquisitions - part two "liar's cloth"

K201: Rare Asante silk man's kente cloth for ceremonial wear, circa 1920-30s, in the pattern known as "liar's cloth" or in Twi "nkontompo n'tama." As with all Asante kente the cloth is named after the background design. On a "liar's cloth" three narrow warp stripes run along one selvedge of each cloth strip and at regular intervals, cross the strip as a weft, before continuing along the strip as warp stripes at the other edge. The technique used to create this effect is unique to Asante weaving and to day known only to a few master weavers. It involves keeping each of the three small groups of warp threads used to create the three alternating stripes at a different length and tension to the main body of the warp using a set of small wax ball weights which are hooked onto the threads and hang below the warp as it is woven. These allow the weaver to manipulate them independently as he completes the strip. "Liar's cloth" is rare and among the most sought after of Asante textiles, and this fine albeit rather worn, silk example has a good variety of neatly woven supplementary weft motifs. To view this and other vintage Asante kente cloths in our inventory click here

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