Sadu weaving is one of the main desert crafts through which women show their artistry and manual skill. Young girls start to learn how to weave from an early age, watching and assisting their mothers in spinning, dying and in the weaving of the cloth parts of the tent, felij (pi. Filjan). by the age of sixteen they would be able to weave and execute almost all of the patterns except for the very intricate designs such as the Shajarah which needs great skill and training. A skilled weaver was accorded great respect and Praise and was referred to as dhefra, meaning Victorious . women spun sheepfs wool, shorn by men as the brief Arabian spring came to an end. by the beginning of summer, during the tribal Settlement, bedouin women start the process of weaving by means of a horizontal loom, which is easily assembled and dismantled to suit the Bedouinfs wandering life-style. the size of bait asshafar and the number of woven materials are all ways a sign of the wealth and status of the tent owner . the quality of the woven pieces depend on the precision and accuracy paid to the spinning and weaving process. Bait asshafar or the tent and itfs furnish- Ings of rugs (sahat and mefaresh), storage bags (udul and mazawed) and saddle bags (khuruj) were the first to be woven, being items of essential use. as a reaction to the austerity of the desert, Bedouin women use bright colors such as reds and oranges to liven up the monotonous sur- rounding. red is the dominant color used in the weaving of the bedouin of Kuwait and is associated with joy and prosperity, which might come form red being the color of blood, therefore life. before chemical dyes became commonly known, wool was used in its natural colors, or colored with days produced from some desert plants. best known among present day bedouin women is the argon, an annual wild plant giving a yellowish orange color. As for color mor- dants, they used alum, madder and dried lemon which were bought, with the manufactured dyes, from the markets of Kuwait, Ihsafa, Zubair and Riyadh. unfortunately other source of natural dyes have been lost to the memory of modern weavers.
bedouin weavings of Kuwait For centuries the tent dweller nomad of the great Arabian peninsula, the bedouin, wandered all over the deserts and steppe in search of pastures for their herds and flooks. today these nomads, the bedouin or bedu of the past, do not roam as before nor live in their traditional black tent, bait al sh'ar, but have settled down in towns and cities where modernity and new employment opportunities have had an important effect on their pattern of life.
Traditionally the bedouin tent, and much of it's furnishings, was created by the woman on their horizontal ground looms, They skillfully wove the long strips of black course cloth course cloth parts for the tent, the ornate tent dividers, rugs, saddlebags and the varied decorative trappings for their camels and horses.
For many years generations weaving has been an integral part of the fabric of bedouin life. Ibn Khaldoun the great historian of the 14th century describes the bedouin as the people who provide them selves tablenacles of hair and wool and stresses the fact that the bedouin had made use of wool in their weavings for a long time.
although wool weaving is considered one of the Arabian peninsula and goes back thousand of years to the domestication of animals by man, it is difficult to find examples of bedouin textiles dating earlier than the begining of 19th century A. D. this is due to the fact that bedouin weavings were made for domestic use and as nomads the bedouin discarded their used and nomads the bedouins discarded there used textiles, replacing them when needed with new ones.
The impact of the harsh desert life on the bedouin is manifest in his simple garments, food and dwelling. his home is a tent, bait asha'ar, pl. buyut asha'ar, made made of his sheep's wool and goat's hair, his food is the milk and flesh of his herd. in the face of the hard and precarious environment, the tent is regarded by the bedouin as a sanctuary, a place of rest and comfort, made vivid by the multi colored bags, hangings and soft rugs, whose vibrant beauty. and rich colors provide a striking contrast to the simplicity of his material belongings.