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Welcome to the world of Sardinian Arts!

The textiles you find here are made with love and care by women who have dedicated their lives to the almost-lost art of traditional handweaving.

These unique weavings — made one at a time, on looms powered entirely by hand and foot — have an indescribable quality that’s a doorway to something we lack and crave in the modern world.

Like homemade food, handmade textiles carry the essence of love. This comes from care, from attention, from honoring the importance of one moment, one thought, one task, one person, in the present moment.

This essence is unquantifiable. It’s invisible in a photo. To most people, the essence of a handwoven textile is apparent only when you have the weaving in your hands.

Handwoven textiles have a glow which radiates the love, care, and attention the weaver infused into the textile. This essence is tangible. Some of us can sense the presence of a handwoven item from across the room.

Each row of every handmade textile is woven and beaten (tightened) by hand. The heart and attention of the weaver goes into each fiber of every textile she creates — despite the fact that handweaving is difficult, complicated, and time-intensive.

The process of weaving makes a handweaver’s life inseparable from her art. Handweavers are rare, and generally overlooked in the world of art as well as in the world of commerce.

The artists you’ll meet here are among the few remaining professional handweavers in Sardinia. On this site and through my related work, I share my love for these weavers, their art, and Sardinia in general.

I’ve come to think of the island as home and the handweavers as family. I frequent the studios and homes of the weavers. I know the textile styles typical of different areas of the island. I’ve also been in the power loom shops and in the textile mills, and I know if a weaving is handmade, and if it’s not.

I sense and understand the intrinsic essence of the handmade, and I’m clear about the distinction between the types of textiles — handwoven, hand decorated, and mill-made. Each type of textile has a distinct market and value.

I’m personally dedicated to ensuring the nearly-lost art of the Sardinian weavers — traditionally and nearly always women — is maintained in a sustainable, fair-trade manner, that handweavers are respected, and that all forms of weaving and the traditional designs of Sardegna are protected.

If you would like a textile, I’m happy to share my knowledge with you and put you directly in touch with a weaver who can custom make a textile for you, or find one she may have already in her studio. In rare cases, I may offer you a textile from my own collection.

If you want a rug, a table runner, a bag, a bedspread, a textile that brings the invisible essence of the handmade to you, warming your home as well as your heart, I can connect you with the weavers and textiles. I am a tramite, a connection, not a venditore, a reseller.

When you purchase a textile directly from the weavers mentioned here, you bring into your home  a textile that carries the indescribable essence of the handmade, a work of heart, a work of art — and you support sustainable, fair trade of a nearly lost art maintained by a few strong women determined to preserve their culture and heritage.

Please contact me if you would like to learn more about the textiles or Sardinia!

Also check back regularly, as I am adding information to the site and organizing tours and events.

With love and respect, working to preserve, protect, and promote the art, work, lives, culture, heritage, land, and people of Sardinia,

~ Kelly Manjula Koza

Showcase

This is a limited showcase of Sardinian textiles, rather than a click-and-buy catalog of items.

Why?

A showcase better supports the weavers, the traditions, and the artwork shared on these pages.

Fine handwoven Sardinian textiles are made one at a time by the hands of weavers who put their heart into each row and fiber of every weaving. This care and attention imparts a tangible energy into each weaving — and it’s this indescribable quality of love that makes the textiles so special, even beyond the museum-quality refinement of the craftsmanship apparent in each.

This essence, this quality is rare in the modern world.

I want to honor this uniqueness in the textiles, in the weavers, in you who seek to increase and cultivate these qualities in your life and your home.

I want to help you find the right textile and offer you a connection to the integral spirit and beauty found in the traditional Sardinian handweavings.

I’ve found that meeting or talking with people one-on-one or in small groups the best way to convey the unique, exquisite nature of the weavings and to ensure the weavers, artwork, and more are honored and protected.

Push-button online ordering breaks the connections. It commoditizes the weavings, annihilates the presence and individuality of the weavers, and turns you into a nameless consumer.

I don’t want to do that. The beautiful handwoven textiles of Sardinia offer a portal to a connection we all seek, and I honor this. It’s part of what I consider fair trade.

You’ll also find that I have not uploaded many photos of the textiles. This is because I’ve found that too many people merely seek to copy Sardinian designs.

If you’re interested in seeing the textiles in person or hosting a screening of my documentary about the weavers , please contact me.  I’ll be happy to talk or email. You can also visit the FAQs page to learn more.

The Artists

Isa Frongia and her studio are the gold standard among a little-known group of artists whose craft is rapidly fading.

A third-generation Sardinian weaver, Isa, along with her mother Susanna and cousin Anna Maria, weave entirely by hand, using traditional methods, looms, and patterns. Their work is truly museum-quality.

Read more here. . . 

To contact Isa, Anna, and Susanna, see this page in English, o vede questa pagina in Italiano.

With their permission, I’ll be adding information soon about hand weavers from other areas of Sardinia, who use different techniques and have very different types of weavings. In the meantime, you can visit the Sardinian Arts Facebook page to find these weavers.

The Film

The documentary I Want to Weave the Weft of Time (Tessere le Trame del Tempo) explores the skills, patience, and artistry of Sardinia’s hand weavers, the tessitori artigianali.

The video features the acclaimed traditional Sardinian handweavers Isa Frongia, her mother Susanna Frongia, and cousin Anna Maria Pirastu, as well as Bruna Cossu, an architect who has returned to Sardinia to reclaim her spirit and learn the art and ways of the tessitori artigianali.

Traditional hand weaving was nearly lost, and for many years has been invisible and unvalued. This art is thriving in the Frongia women’s unique studio, where the women continue to weave by hand in the ancient pibiones tradition. Their art requires great engineering skill, mathematical ability, patience, and physical dexterity. The textiles they create are unparalleled, and a testament to the Frongia’s skill and commitment to preserving this art form.

The trailer is below; the full film (29 minutes) is available on Vimeo.

If you would like to schedule a screening and director’s talk for your school, weaving guild, store, or group, please contact me.

My heartfelt gratitude for the wonderful original musical score goes to composer Ruth Mendelson and the musicians:

  • Lauren Passarelli, Guitar
  • Michael Ripoll Diego, Guitar
  • Miguel Rodriguez, Guitar
  • Shawn Tubbs, Guitar
  • Josquin Des Pres, Bass
  • Tommy Aros, Drums and Percussion
  • Lucy Pope, Violin
  • Beth Welty, Violin
  • David Siegel, Violin
  • Diego Mondrogan, Violin
  • Neo, Vocals
  • Ruth Mendelson, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards