Dubai, 2012: This is the second workshop in two days that I attended, thanks to Dubai Design Days (the first workshop being Arabic typography by Khatt Foundation). For the camel leather weaving workshop, the tutor Kwang Ho Lee demonstrated a simple weaving technique, very much similar to crocheting, but with the fingers as opposed to the hook. I did get lost on the first weaving attempt as you can see. I missed so many stitches and ended up with a triangle, which was not deliberate. It reminded me very much of knitting where I keep missing stitches. Thankfully it’s not the same situation when I crochet.
Watch the video I made of my handcrafted experience at this workshop.
I quickly started on my next piece and ended up showing how to weave for a couple of students at my table. As the camel leather is expensive, the students used talli (not not the Indian Thalli). The workshop ended with the tutor demonstrated how to make a lampshade; nothing short of amazing.
For those who do not know, Talli is traditional emirati embroidered strands that are quite vibrant in colour but talli would be a good contrast if one wore black, white or neutral colours. As a result of undertaking this handcrafted workshop, I have a better understand about the Emirati culture by experimenting with materials from this culture.
A video by the National Newspaper shows how talli is made – a fantastic demonstration and insight into Emirati handcrafting.