Kente Cloth Paper Weaving


  • Scissors 9” x 12” black paper
  • Variety of 1” colored paper strips
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Decorations


  • Discuss Kente Cloth by showing Mary Margaret’s packet of images and info she sent earlier in the month. It will be good to bring up the idea of pattern and repetition with the kids at this point.
  • Have the students pick out 3-4 different colored strips. In order to repeat their pattern, they will then need to gather 4 strips of each color.
  • At this point, the students should decorate the strips using shapes cut out of other colored paper, crayons and/or markers. They should repeat the same design on the same colored strips.
  • The students will fold their black construction paper in half and glue one of the strips to the top open side of the folded paper. They will then use another strip to measure 1” wide strips from left to right. They can then cut 1” wide slits along the marked lines but not cut past the top strip that is glued in place. Open up the black paper (warp). Begin weaving the colored strips in and out into the black paper. For a plain weave, Row 1 is under, over, under, over until the end. Row 2 is over, under, over, under until the end. And Repeat.
  • They can also try other weaving patterns if they are “advanced” paper weavers. These can include, Tabby (which ends up in a diagonal pattern), herring bone twill (which zig zigs down the paper)

Also – check out this resource for different versions to African paper weaving.

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