Arabic Alphabet Quilt Project in the Making

The traditional arts and crafts of Morocco represent myriad and diverse techniques. A group of campers have been incorporating some of these processes in a collaborative textile project, led by teaching artists Tremain Smith and Samantha Taifi. They used resist dyeing with henna inspired by Berber textiles to produce a contemporary visual celebration of Moroccan traditional arts, representing each letter of the Arabic alphabet.

The project began with resist wrapping and stitching yarn onto silk squares using beans and dental floss to produce various designs. The campers then dyed the squares in vats of different strengths of henna. They unwrapped their squares to reveal unique designs and patterns created as a result of the dyeing process. Next campers used basic felting and embroidery techniques to embellish their squares with a letter of the Arabic alphabet in wool and yarn. Now the campers are in the process of adhering all the squares together to create a complete Arabic alphabet in textile form. 

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