The Sadu House, Kuwait

Barbara Weeks reports on her recent teaching trip to Kuwait.  The Sadu House is a meeting place for the Kuwait Textile Arts; groups of weavers and quilters meet here and it houses a finely displayed exhibition of weaving, both the nomadic colourful wools and the ‘urban’ weaving that produces a fine loosely woven cloth for the bisht worn on special occasions.

It has been my privilege to teach my classes here in this most beautiful space.  Students represented 16 different nationalities, which I find so stimulating.  We  spent two days working on fabric mosaics, and then we made really fine  ‘nuno’ style felt on silk chiffon and spent the last afternoon hand stitching this, an opportunity to relax and chat. Outside it is a scorching 44 degrees, inside cool and calm. A truly magical place!

The Outer Courtyard of the Sadu House, the sun is fierce here, bouncing off the white walls.

Yan Liu holds her work in progress, a composition of leaves in applique.

Barbara Trap displays her felted pieces.

The inner room at the Sadu House, regularly used by the Kuwait Textiles Arts Association for meetings and workshops, here it is a cool and airy space.

Around the meeting room are a series of rooms that tell the history of weaving in Kuwait. Here are tents hangings that would be used to create and divide living spaces .

More weaving: the traditional Bedouin weaving was worked  by women on floor looms built from wood to the finished size of the cloth. Here displayed as banners and covers for palms.

The bisht is the urban weaving, worked by men. It is characterised by a fine open weave cloth in the most prized dark wool and is used for their finest over- garments for special occasions. The front edge is worked with gold embroidery which is hammered to an almost liquid state and gives weight to help this light garment keep in place.