This weekend in San Francisco, the Tribal & Textile Arts Show is happening at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. I went for the opening night Thursday, and also volunteered for the Textile Arts Council there on Saturday. There is a staggering amount of incredible art and artifacts, from African masks, to tribal jewelry, to samurai armor, and much more! It’s a real treat to walk down the aisles and see such rare & beautiful museum-quality pieces.
As usual, I was drawn to the textiles at the show more than anything. There were incredible Japanese indigo fabrics at many of the booths, including few Japanese Boro (indigo patchwork fabric) pieces. The idea behind boro fabrics is the Japanese value of “mottainai”, meaning “too good to waste”. These boro garments and textiles for the home were used by peasants, merchants, and artisans in Japan from Edo up to early Showa (17th – early 19th century). Since cotton was scarce, they would keep repairing these indigo textiles with patches and stitches, giving them a beautiful patchwork quality that tells the story of the owner and their family. It was wonderful to see these pieces in person.
One of the best things to see at the Tribal & Textile arts Show is always the rugs. This year, I had two favorites: a colorful rug from Peru, and another from Morocco.
The Peruvian Rug is just a fragment of a rug that would have been enormous, and was woven hundreds of years ago. It was made from alpaca fiber and dyed with natural dyes. It was hanging in Robert Morris‘ booth, who is a fine art dealer from Santa Fe, NM. He also had some other beautiful woven stripes from Peru.
The Moroccan Rug was at the Gebhart Blazek booth, who is a fine art dealer from Graz, Austria. He had a fantastic collection of colorful rugs from all over the world, but my favorite was this boucherouite rag rug. Boucherouite rugs are made from recycled wool and textiles by Berber women in North Africa. This particular rug was from an area of Morocco called Azilal, and it was made in 1990. I absolutely loved the color, texture, and design of this rug!
If you’re in San Francisco this weekend, be sure to check out the San Francisco Tribal & Textile Arts Show for beautiful collections of tribal & textile art from all over the world!