I'm working on a few projects I hope to share soon, but in the meantime, thought you'd enjoy seeing more from our textile collection...
This first one is a saddle blanket from Bolivia. It's extremely fine wool (in terms of gauge), but isn't that soft--it seems as though it'd be fairly durable. Probably goat? Definitely not one of the higher quality wools from the region like guanaco or llama or alpaca. It has some amazing detail (see below).
I also believe it was repaired at some point, not surprising for a blanket used on a pack animal. However, the repair work is also pretty amazing--though it doesn't reconstruct the original pattern, it is as tightly woven, and looks quite sturdy.
I really love the idea that this blanket had a utilitarian purpose, but was designed and crafted beautifully, even if it was going on the back of a pack animal! So it protected the animal, and possibly made the owner happy every time s/he looked at it. It certainly makes me happy when I look at it.
Another item decorating the living room right now is this kente cloth, from Ghana. It's woven from silk & rayon (I think). I feel like it's silk because of the luster, but that it must have rayon in it because it's fairly sturdy (we have another 100% silk kente that is fairly worn--silk is amazing, but fragile).
If you've read my comments on weaving before you'll know right away that this is strip-weaving at its finest. The strips are about 3" wide and are stitched together to make an eye-catching design. Weaving on such a narrow loom means the loom is extremely portable and can be moved mid-project, then hung from a tree or fence post and used immediately.
Here are a few detail photos of this kente.
Music: The XX, "Angels," definitely Sunday morning music!