I’m still working on Moroccan tiles, but ran across something new in my research this week. I read in one of my books that henna is sometimes used to decorate fabrics in the Atlas Mountains. So I went online to research further. Henna painting and tattoos are very common in Morocco. Women paint their hands for their wedding. They also use henna on their hair to give it a reddish tint.
What I found was a wonderful site on everything henna called The Henna Page. You can learn where henna came from, where henna is now used, and learn about the patterns. This site also has free e-books on henna patterns. After downloading two and reading them, I fell in love with many of the designs. With permission from Catherine at the Henna Page, I’m posting two of the designs here. Both of these pages are from the e-book North African Henna Patterns. The other e-book I downloaded was North African Patterns: Diamonds and Stars. I learned about the four different ways to create the eight point stars from this book. That really adds to my understanding of Moroccan and Berber motifs.
Aren’t these patterns beautiful? Many of these patterns and motifs are found in the rugs I’m studying, as well as textiles, ceramics, and tiles. I’ve decided to concentrate the ones I’ve shown here and play with the patterns on canvas. Like I did with the Moroccan rug, I’ll try out stitches and patterns and share them with you.
Along the way, I’ll create a design using some of these elements and stitch it for everyone to see.
To start, I’ll get out some 18 count scrap canvas and two shades of reddish brown to stitch with, so the stitching will resemble henna tattoos. Stay tuned.