A guide to the teaching of tapestry in Ghanaian Schools

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Weaving is a method of cloth construction which involves the interlacing at right-angles of two sets of yarns. The first set, called the warp, runs lengthways on the weaving frame or loom. The second set of yarns, called the weft or filling yarns, run width way across the loom, that is, at right-angle to the warp. The manner in which the groups of warp yarns are raised to permit the insertion of the filling yarn determines the pattern of the weave, and contributes immensely to the kind of fabric being produced. Tapestry is a process as well as an end-product to a special style of weaving. The warp and weft are unequal in character and weight and the design is built up in the course of the weaving. A true tapestry therefore has no existence independent of the design. Tapestry weaving is an art which expresses aesthetic forms by the use of yarn. It requires a good sense of design, colour and weaving mechanism. Its main uses therefore include aesthetic, like wall-hangings arid utilitarian, like keeping draughty room’s warm. Locally, indigenous weaving traditions and products like kente and kete fabrics are similar to those of tapestry. This research has therefore been undertaken to assess the possibility of evolving a derivative system for weaving tapestries in Ghana, and to use the result to prepare a guide for tapestry weaving in Ghanaian schools. This guide has therefore been specifically designed to highlight on the rich indigenous weaving tradition of Ghana by providing literature, schematic drawings and pictures of equipment, processes and end products. Secondly, it provides different techniques for weaving tapestry to guide teachers, students and interested persons who wish to study the art of tapestry weaving. This guide has materialised as a result of a thorough study of the objectives and rational for the New Educational Reform Programme and its Visual Art syllabi for the first and second cycle institutions. A further study was conducted of literature related to tapestry weaving. Interviews were also conducted with selected teachers, pupils and students of first, second and tertiary institutions. Also lecturers of art, selected technicians and weavers in Accra and Kumasi were contacted. After careful study of various equipment uses, I made personal labelled illustrations of some of them to help users of this guide. Finally, recommendations were provided to assist curriculum designers when developing tapestry syllabi for first, second and tertiary institutions in Ghana. The contents of this guide are planned to cover readership embracing students and teachers of tapestry, and all people interested in tapestry weaving.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Art Education, 1993