These shawls are by order only. Current lead-time excluding postage from France is around 8 weeks.
The patterning of these shawls recalls the aligment of dots on a guineafowl's plumage. Guineafowl are considered to be wise birds and are symbolic of beauty, cleverness, sociability and the strength of family, because of the way a mother guineafowl will look after her chicks.
Each shawl is made from lengths of handspun and handwoven organic Malian cotton, stitched together and hand-fringed. It is dyed in indigo or mud, and then tied up very tightly into an intricate pattern of hundreds of tiny knots and re-dyed several times. Finally the knots are undone. Where the knots have been tied, the fabric resists the dye, revealing the guineafowl markings in the shade of the first dyestuff.
Aboubakar makes three variations of this shawl - a dark indigo with light indigo spots; a dark mineral mud-dye with contrasting lighter mud-dye spots, and the final is an almost black shawl with dark blue spots, made by underdyeing the shawl in indigo and then overdyeing the resisted shawl in mud. This last variation is very subtle - from a distance it looks warm charcoal black but up close the dark blue lines of the guineafowl pattern reveals itself.
Genuinely luxurious, beautiful, practical and durable, these large, tactile shawls are wonderful for travelling, with a weight and warmth which can see them doubling as a blanket or coat. They are designed to be timeless, and will grow more beautiful with use. Malian indigenous cotton is particularly soft, and the handspun thread gives these pieces a texture and drape that cannot be replicated by machine-spun cottons. The dyestuffs used are traditionally considered to be protective, healing and calming when worn next to the skin.
Like all of Aboubakar's pieces, each one is unique, entirely handmade, and bearing the mark of its maker's hands. Dimensions may vary slightly from those listed as each roll of stripwoven cotton is of slightly different weave density. The colour shown here is indicative but may not be exact; these colours are alive, not made with dye extracts, but with whole leaves and minerals and their tonal variations reflect the exact profile of the plants and minerals of each individual dye-vat.
These shawls are six strip-widths of handwoven Malian cotton sewn together. They measure approximately 2.3 metres long excluding the fringes, by 80cm wide. The fringes are approximately 22cm long. The nature of the handmade materials used in this shawl means that your piece may vary slightly in dimensions from those stated above. Your shawl should be washed gently by hand and airdryed. Your piece will come with washing instructions.
Upon purchase, you will receive an email confirming your order, and an email containing the tracking number when the item is shipped. All items are shipped both tracked and insured. Please make sure the address registered with your payment option is correct.