Welcome to Kalali! My name is Cathy and you probably know me from treadling in benin, but seeing as I no longer have a treadle and I no longer live in Benin, I thought it best to start fresh with a new blog. The heart of this blog will still be sewing – everything else I do in this blog will somehow revolve around it. So thank you for coming to Kalali.
What is “kalali”? Although I spent a year in Benin, my first love for West Africa is actually Mali. That is where I was before Benin, but my time was cut short thanks to a military coup. Mali is also where I first bought a treadle machine (that I left behind after only having for a week) and where I became inspired by all the tailors and fabrics around me. Most of all Mali is where I began to have thoughts of “I really should learn how to sew…” Without Mali, I never would’ve gotten into sewing.
In the local language of Mali, Bambara, the word kala means to sew. Kalalikela is a person who sews. Kalalikelan is a sewing machine. Kalali is sewing. Thus I thought it only fitting that the title of this blog gives a tiny homage to the place where I caught the sewing bug.