Egyptian
Miniature Cotton
Tapestries

The charming, exquisitely crafted and fanciful tapestry creations shown below are from the Wissa Wassef studios in Harrania, Egypt. Woven by young artisans who learned the tapestry craft as uninhibited, free-spirited children in their after- school hours, the meticulous weavings of fine cotton threads are exceedingly time- consuming to produce, and the source of much pride. Small pieces often represent months of weaving.

Like the larger, more well-known traditional Egyptian wool tapestries, these lyrical cotton miniatures are woven without drawings; the artists work from mental images alone. Animals, birds and plants from the surrounding countryside normally are the subjects. If you have not already read the Wissa Wassef Story, for some background on the astonishing Harranian experiment in creativity, be sure to do so.

 Rarely are the tapestry surfaces perfectly flat; instead, their rippled planes reflect the inherent freedom of the medium, as well as carefree attitudes toward the work-- attitudes in which lively and creative imagery are of paramount importance. This three-dimensionality is not conveyed by the JPEG photos; indeed it makes some of the pieces exceedingly difficult to photograph.  

Except for the last piece (which has been mounted), the enchanting cotton miniature tapestries below are just as they came from the loom: they have not been mounted, and you may frame or mount them as you wish.  The colors in these pieces are soft and muted, as is typical with indigo and other natural dyes on cotton threads. The photos at the end of this page show an indigo-dyeing session.  Because of the fragility of natural dyes on cotton, these tapestries should be not be displayed in direct sunlight.

For background on the important Wissa Wassef experiment in creativity, click HERE







Small Animals
Halawa.  Harrania, Egypt
Cotton tapestry.  7" x 7"  (18 x 18 cm)
CT-1490.....$95
 
     
     







Sheep

Ossama.  Harrania, Egypt
Cotton tapestry.  10"x 11" (25 x 28 cm)
CT-2061.....$115  ``
 
     
 






Birds
Goafar.  Harrania, Egypt
Cotton tapestry.  10"x 11"
(26 x 29 cm)
CT-1502.....$135
     







Gazelles
Said.  Harrania, Egypt
Cotton tapestry:  7" x 11"
(19 x 29 cm)
CT-2065.....$115
 
     

 



Children Playing in the Garden
Enaam, age 12.  Harrania, Egypt
Cotton tapestry:  9"x 11" (23 x 28 cm)
Mounted:  16"x 19" (41 x 48 cm)
CT-1324   Mounted tapestry.....$145


Unlike the pieces above, this tapestry has been mounted on a stretched linen panel.  Click on the link to see a photo of this mount. 
     
     
 

                      Go to the Wissa Wassef Story

                      Go to the Main Tapestry Page

                      Go to our HOME Page for more textiles

MARLA MALLETT
1690 Johnson Road NE
Atlanta, GA  30306   USA

Phone:  404-872-3355
E-mail:  marlam@mindspring.com




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