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Introduction to Pandanus Mat Weaving 18th March

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Event description

Pandanus mats are beautiful and emblematic of Arnhem Land weaving

We're excited!! This is the first time we've offered a workshop focusing on teaching traditional mat weaving techniques. The weaving stitch used to make mats is also the main stitch used in many other traditional woven objects such as dilly bags.

We anticipate the workshop will be led by Burarra weaver from Central Arnhem Land: Betty (above left) with her sister Joy. Our expert and patient teachers are looking forward to sharing the skills that have been handed down to them by their ancestors, skills in use over thousands of years. 

Over the course of four hours we'll share with you techniques for preparing and weaving Pandanus fibre and weaving a mat. Everything is hands-on. Be ready for a day of laughter and learning. Plus, you get to take your mat home.

Delicious lunch + tea, coffee and drinks included.

This workshop uses more prepared Pandanus fibre than regular introductory weaving workshops - Pandanus is supplied.

NB: If you've already done a Pandanus workshop at Songlines then you are entitled to a 20% discount. Contact Flick for the code.


We learn (or try again) the technique for stripping fresh, green (prickly) Pandanus fronds - not as easy as it looks, but a fantastic challenge and certainly builds appreciation for the work and skill involved in a finished basket or mat! It's also fun and builds camaraderie as everyone tries to wrangle the Pandanus leaves.

After that, we have pre-prepared fibre on hand (stripped, dyed and dry) so we start weaving, learning the basic techniques for constructing a mat. 

There's a break around 12.45 for lunch and then you can continue finessing your weaving skills. 

Lunch and refreshments provided. We have vegan/vegetarian/gluten free options available. 

We wind up around 2.30 pm and Songlines is open until 3 pm.

*Songlines is open from 10 am (workshop starts 10.30 am sharp) and you are welcome to come in before the workshop for a complimentary tea/coffee and chat. 

This experience gives you the opportunity to connect with the teachers (local Aboriginal women) and other participants.

Most workshops offered (by us and others) teach coil weaving, however, that's actually an introduced technique from South Australia. 


The workshop session will be facilitated by Felicity Wright. She has a long history of managing and working in remote community art centres and facilitating a range of art and cultural experiences for visitors. Her CV here:

Felicity will give some background to Top End weaving fibres and techniques and how they relate to the culture of Kunwinjku people. You will also explain how the amazing colour palettes are created from locally sourced natural dyes.

The teachers are drawn from her extensive network of weavers from remote communities, some of who now live in or regularly visit Darwin.


Please be aware - the teachers who deliver the workshops have asked that we only accept women as attendees. This is for cultural reasons. Thank you for your understanding.

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