KICHANA: Small Natural & Black Woven Sisal Rug
Our striking KICHANA floor mat boasts black and white stripes against an undyed sisal base, arranged in columns separated by fine white bands. Ethically-produced in rural Kenya, a sisal rug or runner like this work of craft will bring an organic, earthy vibe to any corner of the home.
We work with a single weaver to produce these sisal mats and runners: craftsmen like Bernard are increasingly hard to find as this craft is extremely time-consuming and physical. Bernard was taught to weave on a hand-loom as part of a UN-funded project over twenty years ago and weavers with his skillset and experience are extremely hard to come across nowadays.
Bernard weaves each mat and runner from indigenous sisal grass and these JANI mats and runners are also made with the addition of banana tree bark fibres which give the mats their darker hues. Fibres are split, rolled and dyed by hand before being worked through the loom to create a fine, tight and flat weave that feels comfortable underfoot.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Bernard’s family income, as is the case for most of the weavers we team up with. During the dry seasons, as crops fail and livestock suffers, mat weaving brings Bernard the opportunity to earn a reliable and fair wage through flexible work.
Meet Bernard in our film, The Last Loom Weaver
Material: SISAL & BRANDED LEATHER TAB
Dimensions: L:130cm x W:80cm approx
It is advised to use a non-slip underlay if positioning the mat on a slippery surface (laminated or stripped floorboards and tiles).
Please note, as this is a handmade product, dimensions & colour may vary from those shown in the photographs.
FAIR TRADE AND HANDMADE IN KENYA
Our journey into sustainable style began in Kenya, and the lion’s share of our woven baskets are Kenyan-made. Whilst every region of Kenya boasts its own rich natural bounty, each cooperative we partner with offers expertise in its own unique form of basketry. Weaving, dyeing and grass-rolling techniques differ across the regions as much as basket shapes, patterns and structures. These precious crafts are woven through the generations within families - passed along continuous thread from mother to daughter - protecting and preserving an art form as old as man.
Vast and colourful, vibrant and bursting with natural beauty and style, our fair trade baskets are as eclectic as their homeland and its people. From sisal grass to doum palm, banana leaf fibres to palm leaf, each weaving cooperative works with what is locally available and only what can be sustainably sourced, to produce beautiful baskets which are 100% Kenyan made, and ethically produced. All cow hide bag tags, straps, and basket labels are made from leather sourced as a by-product of the food industry. Natural dyes come from pounded roots, bark and vegetables of the region, whilst all synthetic dyes are sustainably sourced.
From the Kamba tribe to the camel-herding Ariaal pastoralists of Northern Kenya, you can read more about the lives of the Kenyan weavers we work with - and the wonderful baskets they produce - below.