Al Sadu Textiles – Dr Keireine Canavan

Traditional Al Sadu Textile: part of 'Ibjad ' or 'gata' - ornate tent divider.  Wool. Plain, warp-faced rep weave. 65cmx4m. Date unknown.

Traditional Al Sadu Ibjad or Gata Textile: Ornate Tent Divider with Shajarah Patterns


Detail of side patterns

Detail including thin vertical bands of 'ragom' decorated end section

Detail of black & white 'Shajarah' patterns - including combs & probably earrings. The 'unwairjan' pattern is the repetative row of triangle shapes.

Detail fo 'Shajarah' pattern.

Red, representing the 'blood of life' in the desert, orange, the colour of the environment, and black and white to denote the symbolic patterns in the 'shajarah' are the main colours used. are


Above is a beautiful Al Sadu woven textile, that I acquired a few years ago.  

All weaving yarns are hand spun on spindles and traditionally dyed with natural dyes from desert plants, although chemical dyes are more commonly used nowadays.  The black and white patterns in the central section or ‘shajarah’, are largely geometric designs, and dictated in part by the limitations of the simple floor loom used.   However, all the patterns have names and specific meanings and symbolism, though little is documented.  The patterns are not confined within border patterns, but stretch on endlessly, representing something of the enormity of the Arabian deserts.  




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5 responses to “Al Sadu Textiles – Dr Keireine Canavan

  1. Thank you Dr Canavan for your lecture at AUK
    please find a post on my blog:
    best of luck in Kuwait

    • alsaduweaving

      Thank you for your comment. It was nice to meet you and I am glad you enjoyed the lecture. I look forward to reading your blog. Keireine

  2. Jennifer

    Hello Keireine, your blog is fascinating and the colours and textures in the woven pieces pictured are stunningly beautiful.

    Naturally, I am already working out how to chart the edesigns and colours to imitate them in a knitted piece 🙂

    Best wishes, Jennifer

  3. I am a painter of textiles and am fascinated with all Arabic work which is so rich in tradition, and the quality of work is so beautiful


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