This is a traditional form of weaving practiced by Bedouin women in rural communities. Traditionally men shear goats and camels, and the wool is cleaned and prepared by the women. The yarn is spun on a drop spindle, then dyed using local plant extracts (such as henna or saffron), and then woven on a floor loom using a warp-faced plain weave.
The traditional colours are black, white, brown, beige and red, with distinctive patterns in the form of narrow bands of geometric designs. The result is colorful products - clothing, camel and horse decorations, Bedouin tents, majlis floor pillows, carpets and mats.
Traditionally, women gather in small groups to spin and weave, exchanging family news and occasionally chanting and reciting poetry. Such gatherings are also the means of transmitting the tradition: girls learn by watching, and are gradually given tasks to do, such as sorting the wool, before learning the more intricate skills involved.
United Arab Emirates
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