Tuesday, March 26, 2013

African textile print


For the second project of our African unit, first graders studied the unique woven cloths from this region  - one called Kente, which is woven with colorful threads that create repeating patterns, and Adinkra, which is woven in a solid color and the repeating patterns are stamped on. We used styrofoam plates to create patterns we found in these cloths and printed them using the marker and damp paper technique - thanks to Don at Shine Brite Zamarano for the tip on this fun printing method! As Don mentioned, getting the paper the right dampness is crucial, and I had my best luck lightly spraying with a mister, then taking a large clean paintbrush and sweeping across the paper quickly to even out wet spots. In 45 minutes, we had plenty of time for a class of about 24 to make 3 prints and still clean their plates and hands.
After drying, we chose the best print to add some stitching detail for that textile feel, and the other two we traded with classmates, as if we were in an African village. We looked at many pictures of textile sellers in African markets - such a colorful place! I think the first graders would rank this high on the favorites list, and I must say it is one of the cleaner printmaking techniques, making it a favorite of mine as well. : )
kente examples from http://textileythings.blogspot.com/2012/02/history-of-kente-cloth.html

prints drying on the rack
adinkra example from http://angelasancartier.net/adinkra-cloth


  1. What a great idea. I was just blogging about the African masks project. I think these are great, especially since it helps kids know a little bit more about the world around them.

  2. I like the addition of stitching to help develop those small motor skills.

  3. Apart from Cloth Printing, stitching and weaving needs great skills and patience, that this is to be really appreciated.

  4. glad the print technique was a success! i love the added stitching to push the project to a new level:)

  5. Great idea, this post very helpful. that is the real beauty of African Wax Print textile print.

  6. I've been really enjoying reading your African textile print Blog. Great post!
    All the Designs are Awesome.


Comments are very appreciated - thanks for stopping by!