The World of Beduin Weaving print archive
Joy May Hilden
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"Changes in Nomadic Arab Weaving Due to Outside and Internal Influences"
Presented at the Symposium appropriation acculturation transformation at the Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium, 2004.
959k, PDF

Bedouin weaving was formerly used for tents, rugs and animal gear by nomadic Arab tribes. Lifestyles among and influences on the bedouin vary by region, but the decline of nomadism is common to all. Desert tents are often used now to entertain urban dwellers in their courtyards. Large wool tent dividers, no longer in common use, are now substituted with synthetic versions and used as wall decorations, often in miniature. The settles bedouin, in their transformed lifestyle, have developed a variety of short portable looms and other technical innovations for making smaller pieces for foreign and urban markets.

"Fiber and Leather Products of the Juhena Tribe of Saudi Arabia,"
Presented at the Symposium Creating Textiles: Makers, Methods and Markets at the Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium, 1998.
1170k, PDF

Joy traveled to Western Saudi Arabia in the early 90’s to study the weaving and spinning techniques of the Juhena tribe. This article describes their work in spun cloth, wool, goat hair and leather and was originally published in the proceedings of the 1998 Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium.

"In Search of Bedouin Weavers,"
Aramco World magazine. May-June, 1989
176k, PDF

Joy’s first published article describes the excitement of visiting weavers. She describes the areas and homes in which they live and their weaving tools and techniques. Spinning, weaving and dyeing demonstrations answer some of her questions and pique her curiosity further. She learns the names of tools and patterns, and makes contacts that will continue over time. She sees that their lifestyles and weavings are a blend of the old and the new.

"The Colorful Oasis,"
Threads magazine. February, 1989, Number 21
686k, PDF

A well-illustrated, general article describing the traditions and weaving of the Arabian nomads. It describes some of the settled and nomadic Beduins the author visited, and gives instructions for making a warp-faced Beduin weaving on a frame. The diagrams clearly describe the steps involved.
Copyright © 1989, The Taunton Press, Inc. Reprinted with permission from issue #21 of Threads Magazine, Box 5506, Newtown, CT, 06470-5506, U.S.A. to order a copy of Threads, call: 1-800-888-8286.

"Beduin Weaving in Saudi Arabia,"
Ahlan Wasahlan Magagine, June, 1988.
534k, PDF

"Beduin Textiles of Saudi Arabia,"
Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies, Vol.IV The San Francisco Bay Area Rug Society of OCTS Ltd, Berkeley, CA, 1993.
149k, PDF

More formally written than some of the earlier articles, this paper, delivered to the International Conference on Oriental Carpets in November of 1990, is a thorough survey that answers the What, Who and How of Beduin weaving. The Conclusion says: Beduin weaving in Saudi Arabia is seen and known by few people in the textile arts field in the West. It is becoming more rare as the Bedu settle and their lifestyle changes. The weavings, which were used in the everyday life of the people who made them, represent a vanishing lifestyle. More needs to be done to preserve the knowledge of this craft, process and product.

Reprinted by permission of the San Francisco Bay Area Rug Society and OCTS Ltd., Berkeley, CA.

"The Use of Wasm (Animal Brands) in Beduin Weaving,"
Al-Ma'thurat Al-Sha'biyyah, #22, April, 1991.
1,036k, PDF

In this interesting article, Joy May Hilden identifies wasm -- distinctive tribal brands used to identify domesticated animals -- and shows how they are used as decorative motifs in beduin weavings. Table of Contents | About the Author | Web Articles | Bibliography | Publications | Trips & Activities | Lectures | Slide Show | Links | Credits

All text and pictures © 1997, 1998, 1999 by Joy May Hilden

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