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The ancient art Of Egyptian appliqué has inspired a textile project called Kheyameya. Kheyameya refers to the intricately stitched textiles made by the legendary Tentmakers of Cairo, highly skilled artists who for centuries have created appliqué textiles that were traditionally used to line the interior of tents. As time has passed the number of artists has dwindled and the Khayameya produced today are mainly for home furnishings or wall hangings for the tourist market.

Produced by Rotate-Editions The Egyptian Khayemaya Project brought together two Khayemaya artists, Ashram Hashem and Hassan Omar (Yahia); alongside three graphic artists, Rhonda Drakeford of Darkroom, Anthony Burrill of A Practice For Everyday Life; and Damien Poulain. Together the group created a series of panels the designs of each marrying the old with the new in the form of techniques, aesthetics, and colour. The ones shown in this feature are by Rhonda Drakeford and form a triptych, and each panel is available as a limited edition of ten and can be bought individually or as a set.


Kheyameya Textile Project Celebrates The Ancient Art Of Egyptian Appliqué DARKROOM London


Atelier Fifty Five Feature Kheyameya Textile Project Celebrates The Ancient Art Of Egyptian Appliqué DARKROOM London


The Khayemaya Egyptian Textile Project was shown at the Bert & May Warehouse as part of the London Design Festival 2016.


– Tapiwa Matsinde


Additional details:

For further information about the Khayemaya Egyptian Textile Project collections visit:


[Image credits: The images shown belong to Darkroom London. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]




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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

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