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by Sally Campbell

Hi everyone I am finally doing blogs again after pop up shows,fairs and holidays.  Too much happening so the blogging had to go on the back burner.  I have been dying to blog about yet another sublime visit to Alistair and Athena McAlpine's convent in Puglia.  Alistair's textile collection makes India's calico museum look like the corner shop.  And Alistair is only too happy and generous to show you his exquisite wares.  He carefully removes these wonderous treasures from antique Chinese suitcases and chests, all wrapped safely in the softest rice paper.  He has  cotton and silk samples of the entire history of Indias block printings and her  English influences.  Humorous graphics and delicate florals adorning the softest handkerchiefs.  Whatever happened to hankies!!! such fabulous and necessary accessories.  This time I chose to zero in on the African textiles....and I only scratched the surface as he has every area of Africa packed safely away in his hand carved treasure chests.  I have photographed 3 superb African flags of the Fante Asafo people of Ghana.  From Western Africa these cotton cloth flags adorn villages and towns at the time of festivals and funerals.  They glow with glorious colours and inspiring imagery. Appliquéd, embroidered and patched, often with endearing humour.


On the naturally dyed Moroccan cushions is a stunning Nigerian indigo handwoven throw

Casually draped on a carved African chair is another indigo wonder.

This time it is the Zulus to make your mouth water.  Handwoven silk throws in natural dyes.  Roughly woven and softer than a pashmina, those Zulus are right on track with their amazing sense of colours.  These sent my heart spinning and passion pounding.  Am sure you will agree.