Product : this cushion is a one of a kind piece, a collaboration between skilled artisans in the Philippines and South Africa. Embroidered hand loomed cotton on the front, and linen on the back.
30 x 50 cm sold with feather inner.
A protea flower and sunbird is hand embroidered onto a graphic hand loomed cloth known as "binakol" from the north of the Philippines. The protea is the national flower of South Africa, it represents change, hope and regeneration in local tradition, the flower is embroidered by a group of talented crafts women who are part of a social enterprise called Heartworks. The cloth, Binakol is an ancient craft tradition in the Philippines, each graphic motif is an abstract illustration of daily life in the country. This motif is the "whirlpool", which is woven to protect us from illness and wicked spirits, it is thought to make them dizzy.
Embroidery, Heartworks was founded in Cape Town in 2005 as a springboard for a group of marginalised women (many of whom have HIV). The organisation help train the women in fine embroidery. United by their talent within Heartworks, these women, from South Africa, Congo and Zambia, are artists. Each of their works is a unique collection worthy piece, and the women refer to their work as "haute couture" creations. The group now involves more than 30 women, enabling them to generate a decent income and acquire the confidence to move forward in their lives.
Hand loomed cotton, Binakul is the name given to one of the most recognisable patterns of traditional Philippine hand loom, it is a uniform and interwoven geometric design. Weaving is complicated, it can take up to two weeks to set up a loom, and a day to weave 2 metres of cloth.
It is an illustration of daily life in abstraction, the various motifs represent stories of life in the north of the country. In the different designs you can see representations of the waves of the sea, whirlwinds, fans, cat’s pawprints, and the traditional capiz windows found on houses in the Ilocos region. It is an incredibly complex weaving pattern, and some special pieces are almost psychedelic; circles woven within squares, which move as one looks upon the cloth.
The indigenous people of the Cordilleras region believed this binakol cloth could ward off malevolent spirits, by making the evil spirits dizzy. Today only a small group of women in the Ilocos region of the Philippines are still practicing the craft. For Storie, the importance of the Binakul lies in the artistry and complexity of the way it is woven but also the value of the craft heritage, a story that needs to be told in order to keep this precious tradition alive.
In detail : Cotton cushion, sold with feather inner. 30X50 CM
100% hand made. Cotton woven in the Philippines. Cotton & linen.
Gentle hand wash.