SAKAFU: Black and White Woven Sisal Rug
You won’t find two SAKAFU mats the same. Dip-dying and tie-dying sisal grass by hand creates a fabulous cloud-streaked effect in soothing shades of black, grey and white. Use in your hallway, kitchen, bathroom or bedroom.
We have teamed up with a weaver named Bernard in bringing these mats and runners to The Basket Room. Bernard produces each one of these sisal mats himself on a hand-loom, having learned this complicated craft through a UN-funded project over twenty years ago.
Sisal is a fibrous grass often used for producing rope. Once harvested, its leaves are split, rolled and dyed by hand before Bernard meticulously works them through the loom to create a fine, flat weave that feels lovely underfoot. Weaving on a hand-loom is particularly physical and complex work, so it’s far less popular amongst weavers than traditional basket weaving. Bernard’s mats and runners are works of a rare craft, and by bringing one home you help to protect and promote this whilst supporting his livelihood.
Weaving isn’t Bernard’s main job. Like the majority of the weavers we partner with in Kenya and across Africa, farming is his mainstay. During times of drought, mat weaving gives him the opportunity to earn a fair and reliable wage through flexible work.
Meet Bernard in our film, The Last Loom Weaver
Material: SISAL & BRANDED LEATHER TAB
Dimensions: L:130cm x W80cm 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.