Heather Veneziano, of the Fibers Department at Temple’s Tyler School of Art, recently visited the Anthropology Lab with her class, Intro to Fibers (see her blog post here).

During the class period we looked at many fiber-based artifacts in the collection and Heather very kindly pointed out various weaving techniques.  Here are a few of the highlights of traditional weaving from the Anthropology Lab’s ethnographic collections.


In plain weave, the warp and weft are aligned to form a basic criss-cross pattern.

TU2007.4-27, basket, woven, purse-shaped with handles, ties and secured flap lid, 5″ high, Chaco, Argentina, E. S. Miller Collection.


In coiled basketry, bundles of plant fibers are wrapped around in layers and held in place with interlocking stitches.

TU2007.4-26, basket, woven with attached lid, 4.5″ high, Chaco, Argentina, E. S. Miller Collection.


Plaiting is an over-under pattern that can be done on the diagonal.  The plaiting below gives strength and flexibility to the body of the costume and is decorated with painted stripes.

JH-06, Dancing Pig Costume, Sepik River, New Guinea, 52″ long, Friedlaender Collection.

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