African Creative Canada

Long Kuba Cloth (from 301cm upwards in length)

This enticing Kuba Cloth creates a strong impression in every corridor or room where it is exhibited. It may be framed, hung, or used as a table top.

The original Kuba fabric is handmade by the Kuba tribe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is commonly referred to as raffia fabric since it is entirely constructed of raffia leaves. These unique Kuba fabrics are among Africa's most distinctive and magnificent works of art. Kuba fabric is uncommon and difficult to get by. Each fabric and pattern has a special meaning; in general, Kuba cloth fabric represents the real art and culture of the Congolese Kuba tribe. Because of the diversity of the Kuba, there are an infinite number of varieties of kuba fabrics. Each group has its own own method of producing the cloth. The geometric design represents something symbolic.

Some patterns are organized in a unique way to tell a narrative. The process of making Kuba cloth takes a long time. A work might take several days to complete. The raffia tree's leaves are collected and dyed with mud, indigo, or other natural pigments. To develop a final design, the entire process must go through several stages. In the process, men and women collaborate. The majority of the planting, harvesting, and weaving is done by men. The cloth is then pounded to soften it, patterns and patches are designed, and the cloth is dyed with plant dyes.