Swazilace, 1973

Not on Viewexpand_more

The Swaziland Mohair Collection was a subgroup of the 1963 African Collection that included a variety of fabrics, from sheer casements to heavier variations with looped pile stripes. This excerpt from the collection press release explains their origin:

"In the rugged mountains of Swaziland Jack Lenor Larsen found Coral Stephens, an English woman, teaching the natives to handspin mohair from the tall South African goat whose long fleece falls to the ground from a mane down his back. The soft luxurious yarn is hand-woven into intricate patterns and subtle combinations of live, translucent color."

An important aspect of the African Collections aesthetic was the development of colorways. The choice of colors in which the fabrics would be produced needed to satisfy multiple criteria: the colors had to convey a sense of authenticity, appeal to contemporary tastes and fashions, but also exhibit originality. The warm oranges and yellows of the Swazi fabrics, for example, complied with western expectations of African color preferences and were also very trendy in the early 1960s.

Artist Life
New York, est. 1952
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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