Ewe Kente Cloth Weaving

Kente cloth is made from narrow woven strips in several parts of Ghana, including Denu. The strips are sewn together to form a large, rectangular cloth that is traditionally worn wrapped around the body.

This Kente cloth is on exhibit in the National Museum in Accra, Ghana. Ewe Kente features animals and motifs that tell stories. The late Bobbo Ahiagble

Ewe Kente Weaving:

Dyed thread is wound onto bobbins that will be put on a bobbin rack during warping. The warp is placed on a weighted sled that creeps forward as the strip is woven.

Kwami Hgbemehia weaves in Bobbo's workshop. His toes pull down round pieces of coconut shell tied to nylon heddles to change the sheds to weave single and double cloth. Kwami's cotton warp and weft were dipped in cassava starch after dying to make them stronger. Four warp threads in each heddle produce weft faced weaving. Kwami may be contacted at PO Box 74, Denu, Ghana, West Africa, phone: 0242-878350.

For consistency, the motif is measured..

When finished, woven strips are cut apart.

Then Bobbo sews them together to produce Kente cloth, place mats, and table runners.

In a workshop in Srohume village (Agbozume) near Denu, Samuel Amegayce weaves, winds the woven strip, then begins another motif more quickly than you can imagine. He's been weaving for 35 years - since he was fifteen.

Sixteen year old Christian Dogbey weaves lustrous rayon strips in the same workshop. Rayon is strong enough that it does not need to be dipped in cassava starch.

Multiple string heddles help weavers quickly weave intricate motifs in Srohume.

See also: Kente Cloth of Ghana, HANDWOVEN, January/February 2011, 32.1: 24.

Recommended Children's Book Master Weaver from Ghana (features Bobbo and includes Kwami)

Ashanti Kente Weaving in Bonwire, Ghana
Ashanti Kente Weaving in Adawomase, Ghana
Adinkra Making in Ghana
Glass Bead Making in Odumase Krobo, Ghana
Glass Bead Making in Daabaa, Ghana 
Lost Wax Casting in Krofofrom, Ghana 
Painting and Baskets of Sirigu, Ghana    
Ga Coffins in Teshie, Ghana 

More Links:
Kente DVD
Papermaking in Kurotani, Japan 
Katazome (stencil dying) in Kyoto, Japan 
Shibori in Kyoto, Japan  
Batik of Java and Bali, Indonesia
Ikat Weaving in Bali
Printing in China 
Batik in Cameroon  
Backstrap Woven Ikat in Mexico  
Footloomed Woven Ikat in Mexico  

Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura in 2008. Please look at Carol's home page to see more about crafts around the world.