(CYNTHIA MUGI)It is very rare to find a batik or tapestry in the homes of regular Kenyans, however, should you visit the home of an expatriate, you will find tapestries and batiks from African culture as well as other cultures. Batiks are traced back to Asia. The work Batik is Malay meaning “to dot” or “to write.” Batik clothing can be used for wall hangings, paintings and other home furnishings for a beautiful finish. Tapestry on the other hand originated in the west and is among the oldest forms of woven textiles. Tapestries are thick fabrics on which weft threads of different colors are woven creating various designs.
Modern tapestries and batiks are pieces of art that capture modern life in a blend of attractive patterns and colors. However, there is still a high demand for traditional designs. The best thing about batiks and tapestries is that they are usually handmade and no two are ever the same. Tapestries and batiks come in all sizes and can be used for various purposes including, as a wall hanging, a bedspread, a table cloth and even seat covers.
When selecting batiks and wall tapestries ensure that they are colorfast and machine or hand washable for easy care. Be sure to get the size you want as they range from small, medium to large. Get something you can afford as an expensive batik or tapestry does not guarantee satisfaction. Depending on your personality and color schemes you can choose from wall hangings that have dramatic backgrounds, brilliant colors, a calming effect or earth tones. Our own Maasai Market is a great place to start your search for wall hangings, tapestries and batiks!