Weaving in Southern Nigeria

by Lisa Aronson
Skidmore College

Close-up of weft-float patterns, Yoruba peoples, Nigeria. Photo by Lisa Aronson.

 

When the long strip is completed, the weaver removes it from the loom and cuts it into even strips corresponding with the desired length of the cloth. The strips are then sewn together along the selvage to create the finished product. By contrast, women weavers among the Yoruba, as well as among the Nupe, Hausa, and Igbo, tend to weave on a horizontal fixed-frame loom with a warp wrapped firmly around the frame.

This is a close-up view of the weft-float pattern weavers insert into the cloth during the weaving process. The weaver uses a flat stick to control the anchor threads, which secure the wen-float design. When the weft-float design is ready to be inserted, he simply turns the flat stick sideways to open the necessary shed and in it inserts the shinny weft-float threads.