Al Sadu is an ancient Bedouin tribal weaving artform, which in its broadest linguistic identity is rhythmically linked to poetry, memory, the weaving practice, the extension of the hand, and the graceful moving pace of a camel.
Al Sadu weaving conveys the Bedouin’s rich heritage and instinctive awareness of natural beauty, with patterns and designs messaging the nomadic lifestyle, the desert environment, and the emphasis of symmetry and balance due to the making process.
Nothing is written down or recorded. Due to widespread illiteracy of Bedouin nomadic tribespeople, all motifs, patterns and associated symbolism are memorised and passed from mother to daughter, by word of mouth and example.
The focus is on the interpretation of the woven shajarah or central tent divide, establishing the wealth of meaning and communication from the codes or pictographic language, with research undertaken with Bedouin master-weavers, academics, poets and social anthropologist at:
• AlSadu Weaving Co-operative Society, Sadu House, Kuwait,
• Samail Textile Training Centre, Oman, and
• National Museum of Qatar.
The oral history of a dwindling number of master-weavers have been video-recorded and documented to preserve the declining memory, practice and awareness, and to prevent further loss.
New design interests are in the lessons traditional al Sadu textiles have for modern digital practices, with contemporary design ranges being woven in fine silks in the Far East for fashion and interior fabrics.