Al Sadu is a traditional form of weaving practised by Bedouin women in rural communities. Traditionally Bedouin men shear the sheep, camels and goats, and women gather in small groups to spin and weave after cleaning the wool. The yarn is spun on a drop spindle, then dyed using local plant extracts “such as henna or saffron”, and then woven on a floor loom using a warp-faced plain weave.
The traditional colours are black, white, brown, beige and red, with distinctive patterns in the form of narrow bands of geometric designs. The result is colourful products – clothing, camel and horse decorations, Bedouin tents, majlis floor pillows, carpets and mats.
Bedouin women gather in small groups
to spin and weave, exchanging family news and occasionally chanting and reciting poetry. Bedouin Girls learn by watching during these gatherings and are gradually given tasks to do, such as sorting the wool, before learning the more intricate skills involved.
* The Sadu process of spinning wool goes through several stages:
First stage: clipping wool, cutting goat hair and collecting camel fleece.
Second stage: sorting and fluffing wool and cleaning it of impurities such as plants, thorns and dust, then rinsing with water, and combing it with a kardash or a fluffer.
Third stage: spinning to turn it into solid yarn using a loom.
Fourth stage: colouring, where the white yarn produced is coloured using bright and attractive pigments.
Fifth and final stage: weaving and knitting with a portable loom. Sadu is suspended by extendable threads, linked with four other pieces of yarn across a rectangular shape.