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Aïssa Dione works with ‘Manjak’, Senegalese weavers from the South of Senegal. In her workshop just outside of Dakar, Aïssa has over 100 employees mainly creating handwoven fabrics using centuries old weaving traditions. Aïssa also wanted to introduce mechanical looms as a new method of weaving to not only expand the creative possibilities within the Senegalese textiles but also continuously provide work for her craftsmen.
In the early 2000’s, Aïssa Dione Tissus acquired several mechanical looms from old silk factories in Lyon (France). These mechanical looms require a certain know-how and an expertise that the artisans in her workshop are mastering, able to recreate patterns obtained from traditional looms. The most complex part of this weaving process lies in the preparation which requires 3000 threads to be perfectly attached together prior to being interlaced. This leaves no room for error.
Our capsule collection with Aïssa Dione Tissus is produced by these craftsmen working alongside these ancient machineries.
Weaving in Senegal
Weaving is an important feature within the Senegalese culture. Women hired weavers to
create ‘pagnes’ (loin cloths), traditionally used to wrap bodies at birth or during funerals.
These were also regarded as luxurious gifts for a wedding. Aïssa reinterpreted the
traditional Senegalese fabrics used for these ‘pagnes’ by modifying the colours and adapt
them to the world of interior design. Her focus organically shifted towards textures rather
than patterns. Faux-Uni , translated as ‘false plain’ are Aïssa’s playground. The intrinsic and
extremely complex textural work creates a depth to an otherwise plain colour. “Its
complexity is what brings it depth.” Faux-Uni showcases the depth within the composition
of a textile. Weaving is a mix of coloured threads which contains a chain, a tram and a
pattern. All of which are layered to create together a mix of colours. Aïssa created her own
catalogue of colours, listing 33 exclusive shades using a specific system of reference which
became her unique language with the craftsmen.