Johannesburg: Amatuli African Import Shop

September 15, 2019
Part of our teacher’s tour was a visit to the amazing Amatuli – imports from other African Countries.
An excellent mexican meal, with even more excellent company.
This amazing place was full of things to enchant a group of textile enthusiasts! Cabinets along the walls full of indigo, mud cloth, and a pile of Kantha that drew us all in. There might have been squealing and calls of “you guys have GOT to see this!!!”
Look at the chair in the bottom corner….
… I can’t even imagine how much time this must have taken. The entire chair covered in seed beads!
Seriously – if I thought there was any way one of these would have survived the trip home, or if I had room in my luggage, it would have come with me then and there. I have a thing for bones.
There were many really beautiful Kantha blankets (are they called blankets or quilts or just cloth?) but this one spoke to me. A beautifully batiked cotton. Kantha – as highlighted in the previous post, is created in the the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, and Odisha as well as Bangladesh. Worn out saris are stacked then stitched. Sometimes used as blankets, sometimes as shawls, or covers for objects.
The back of the cloth is worn, not a defect in my eyes. I absolutely love the visible signs of the good use this cloth has been put to… new life for a worn sari. Given up and finding a new life again on a third continent.


  • Reply
    Patti Maxwell
    September 15, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Textile artist heaven!

  • Reply
    Anne Munoz
    September 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    What a wonderful trip. I really have enjoyed your “reports” about Kantha and your photos of your trip. Thank you for sharing.

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