Technique: Starch Resist Textile Painting

Tribal Textiles

Artisans at Tribal Textiles practice a starch-resist textile painting technique to craft each of these pillows. These textiles originated in a small safari camp on the banks of the Luangwa River in Zambia, with the technique being passed down across generations within the community. Each design is inspired by the local environment, nature, and African traditions while being infused with a modern touch.

In the first stage of this technique, artisans will cut, sew, and fray the cotton. They then soak the fabric in water and draw the design by hand using a starch mixture. This is set in the sun to dry as starched fabric and then painted and mixed with colors. Once the painting is complete, every piece is baked in an oven, which allows the textiles to become fully washable and ensures that the color stays intact. Next, the artisans will wash the fabric and scrape off the starch to unveil the final design. The fabric is set to dry in the sun once more, sewn, and completed.

The Tribal Textiles team has spent more than two decades perfecting this tradition. While a similar type of fabric treatment originated in Mali, Tribal Textiles artisans have adapted starch into the process and paint every design. Furthermore, the social enterprise is dedicated to ethically sourcing materials within Africa; the cotton is sourced from Zimbabwe and the paint pigments originate in South Africa.

THE ARTISANS

Tribal Textiles

TRIBAL TEXTILES

learn more

SHOP STARCH RESIST TEXTILE PAINTING PRODUCTS

Quickshop

Black & White Pillow - Stripes

$ 68.00

Dabble in pattern play with these bold, striped pillows. Each piece is hand-painted on 100% cotton and amazingly machine washable. Each purchase empowers artisans at Tribal Textiles in Zambia. Details...

Details

  • Approximately: 18" wide x 18" long
  • Materials: 100% African-sourced cotton, paint
  • Care Instructions: Machine washable in warm water inside out on tumble dry low or hand wash and lay flat lay flat to dry
  • 100% cotton can be pressed with a hot iron
  • Pillow Insert Materials: Synthetic fill
  • Pillow comes ready to go! An insert is included with each purchase, and this pillow features a zipper closure for easy removal.
  • As with all handmade items, slight variations will occur

Ask us a question

Quickshop

Black & White Pillow - Zig Zag

$ 68.00

Draw the eye with these bold, diamond-patterned pillows. Each piece is hand-painted on 100% cotton and amazingly machine washable. Each purchase empowers artisans at Tribal Textiles in Zambia. Details Approximately:...

Details

  • Approximately: 18" wide x 18" long
  • Materials: 100% African-sourced cotton, paint
  • Care Instructions: Machine washable in warm water inside out on tumble dry low or hand wash and lay flat lay flat to dry
  • 100% cotton can be pressed with a hot iron
  • Pillow Insert Materials: Synthetic fill
  • Pillow comes ready to go! An insert is included with each purchase, and this pillow features a zipper closure for easy removal
  • As with all handmade items, slight variations will occur

Ask us a question

 

Stay In The Loop


sign up for our e-newsletter

receive emails about our artisans, new products, and gifts that create opportunity.

no thanks