This collection of 5 woollen textiles from North Africa complements existing collections from Tunisia, mainly acquired by British Museum staff during periods of fieldwork in the late 1990s.

In Tunisia and Libya, woollen textiles represent not only functional value in terms of their ability to provide warmth and comfort during long winter months, but publically express the wealth of a tribe which is still traditionally measured by the number of sheep owned. Many of the textiles are decorated with distinctive motifs which have local names. The patterns may be embroidered using multicoloured silk, cotton or woollen threads after weaving or designs may be woven in to the textile as supplementary floats in cotton and wool.


Antony Griffiths.

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