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It also includes information on which native plants can be used to obtain dyes. His instructions for a food basket and a kete are non-traditional and he includes ideas on different ways a plait can be used to start weaving, how to add or decrease the number of woven strips and how to weave with a vertical or horizontal twill. There are also instructions for a round basket which starts with two plaits, a hat and masks. Patterned weaving is an attractive feature of traditional flax weaving and this book illustrates, with clear black and white line drawings, how to set the patterns for a large number of coloured and self-patterned weaves.

Some of the patterns are straightforward to interpret and set up but some of the more complex diagrams will require careful thinking and preparation to complete. Techniques from other cultures include three-directional plaiting weaving and right-angled plaiting, which are both useful for creating different shapes. Five informative chapters, each written by an expert contributor, reveal the history and significance of the weaving of cloaks.

How to make a simple NZ Flax (Phormium Tenax) purse

Every page is illustrated with detailed photographs and the techniques are further illustrated by fine line drawings. A full glossary, illustrated guide to cloak types, and index are included. Diggeress Te Kanawa, one of the most well-known weavers of her time, describes in complete detail how to construct a cloak in your own design using dyed flax, feathers and tassels.

The materials list of " warp threads, 2 long cords dyed black, at least 5 hanks of weft thread 50 threads to one hank , feathers from 4 birds, and tassels" -- all of which need to be prepared by hand before the weaving has even started -- illustrates the enormous amount of work that goes into the making of a cloak!

Reviews of books on NZ flax weaving

This book covers, in very comprehensive detail, the traditional way to make a skirt or piupiu. It describes the preparation of the flax, assembly of the prepared pieces, the dyeing of the flax once assembled into a skirt and the weaving of a plaited or geometrically-patterned waistband. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and are illustrated with line drawings and black-and-white photos.

Leilani Rickard explains, with full colour photos, the methods used in making a piupiu. All the techniques used to make a piupiu are illustrated, including cutting and stripping the flax into strips, marking and scraping the patterns onto the strips, boiling, the twisting of flax fibre into cords to make the waistband, and traditional mud-dyeing of the completed piupiu.

If you are using the information in this book to make a piupiu, do study the flow chart on pages , as it combines all the methods and techniques in a step-by-step plan.

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Although this is a small booklet, it is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to make their own basic skirt, bodice, headband or body band to wear at ceremonial occasions. The instructions for making a skirt show how to scrape traditional geometrical designs onto flax strips in preparation for dyeing them, and how to plait the strips into a waistband. Two different methods are described for making geometrical designs for a fabric bodice, head band and body band.

First published in , when the author went under the name of Sydney Mead, this book contains an interesting history of cloak and skirt making, and the changes in fashion in these garments through the centuries.

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This booklet for children describes the making of decorative wall panels, or tukutuku panels, and includes traditional patterns as well as patterns designed by children. The second part describes a simple process of designing traditional patterns known as kowhaiwhai patterns which are useful in many design situations.


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This book contains a great deal of useful information on the use of flax in weaving even though the baskets described are made with coiled and stitched methods rather than the woven method that is generally used for flax weaving in New Zealand. A comprehensive table lists how various different natural materials can be used in basket making and there are good illustrations of baskets that have been made using the different techniques.

This book documents the great diversity in the weaving styles of baskets throughout the Pacific Islands of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, and illustrates these differences with many photos. Some basic weaving techniques are detailed at the end of the book.

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My mahi for this year will be in line with the Roopu project of kakahu making. I am already thinking about what sort of kakahu I want to make!!

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If you want to discuss contents of this page - this is the easiest way to do it. But I continue to strive for knowledge and understanding and seek out whatever opportunities come my way. I learned raranga in , but it has been in my blood since birth.

Kete Whakairo Plaiting Flax Beginners by Ngawaka Margaret Rose

My journey with harakeke is entwined with my whakapapa family history. When I learned to plait, I found an aunt I have never met who was an expert weaver of her time. When I learned piupiu traditional Maori kilt , I was given a photo of my great-grandmother wearing her piupiu and learned she was a matriarch weaver of her time.