Ubuntu Fibres – Black Mamba: Leaving my Mark

About the wrap

Black Mamba: Leaving my Mark

Woven by: Ubuntu Fibres

2.3m of Organic Egyptian Cotton warp and hand-dyed Mulberry Silk weft, in a skipped weave, clasped at the Mamba, inlayed with Tsumugi Silk

Telling stories

At the heart of Ubuntu Fibres is the power of traditional weaving techniques and storytelling which drives Christelle’s work. This makes her approach to weaving so very different because imbued in her cloth are complex messages.

When Christelle conceived of the Black Mamba warp I was immediately drawn to it. A golden mamba has slithered a path across the cloth leaving fragmented tsumugi inlay words in her wake.

image of a white woman wearing black with a blak and gold ring sling worn as a shawl . The design is a mamba slithering across the cloth

Though Christelle had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve, she consulted and updated me all the way so that the Mamba fitted my needs and my, and my daughter’s, form. Christelle had a strong vision of how she wanted this art to work on the body and in motion.

As such, this is a wrap that is both squishily soft but extremely strong. The weight of silk gives it immense liquidity but the skipped and clasped weave lends the wrap excellent grip. The selvedges are so neat and the weave is consistent throughout. I marvel at this as Christelle doesn’t weave to a set pattern but as the concept of the design dictates.

Black and gold ring sling carrying a child who is peering over her mother’s shoulder

I used Black Mamba for the walk home with Smallest and it was both easy to tighten and did not budge. The ring sling is very supportive and immediately moulded to Mathilda as a second skin.

A few days later we photographed it some more and I loved the way she settled into the weave. In action, the Mamba’s tongue hissed over my shoulder. She’s totally enchanted by the snake and didn’t want to get down. I am looking forward to feeling how the ring sling breaks in and wears.

Sixth sense

I think it is very rare that you have an experience that feels like someone has rummaged in your heart, head and soul as they produce their art. Christelle did. Partway through the process she sent a poem that described the Mamba.

This sinewy and powerful serpent speaks truth from her forked tongue, her body cuts through untruths and leaves a legacy of empowerment. I cried when I read the poem because she had unwittingly tapped into me – I lecture in Journalism and work with an inspiring and diverse student cohort.

Side image of a black and gold ring sling carrying a child who has her hand on her mother

Continuance

Christelle wove the Mamba so that one day it will go from ring sling to shawl but I know I will wear it to work long before. You can see how it works as a scarf too. I described it to her as a piece of armour and a reminder of many important memories and motivations that I carry with me.

image of a white woman wearing black with a blak and gold ring sling worn as a shawl

I am very blessed the Black Mamba is now part of my own story, babywearing and beyond. Thank you Christelle.

Find out more

Link to the poem by Meztli and also the Ubuntu Fibres Facebook page – https://tinyurl.com/UbuntuFibres

Link to Elka at Indicat Designs who converted this piece. Her hybrid shoulder is exacting, works with the design and beautifully sewn – https://indicatdesigns.com.au/

Fibres of the Ubuntu Community on Facebook is here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/2044207509184290/

Ubuntu Fibres can also be found on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/enntimami_downunder

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