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Handmade in PNG

I have a love and fascination for all things woven, so I was delighted when some dear colleagues gave me a parting gift of a beautiful handmade serving tray and bilum (tote), all the way from Papua New Guinea.

Bilums were traditionally woven with unique designs, using the rolled bark of the Tulip Tree. They are lightweight and seemingly delicate, yet surprisingly strong. Traditional plant fibre bilums are still made, but colourful designs using wool yarns have become increasingly popular.

IMG_8309-©amandamckittrick

The serving tray takes pride of place on my sideboard.

bilum-©amandamckittrick

My bilum is far too precious to use for grocery shopping! I’d love to learn how to make one of these, maybe I’ll travel to PNG one day for lessons. Check out this great video of the whole process, from cutting and drying the fibres to weaving them all together. Beautiful!

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