In this multi-day workshop learn the art of Bilum weaving with expert Papua New Guinean weavers Lynn Imbun and Veronica Van Der Padt
In this multi-day workshop, learn the art of Bilum weaving. The Bilum bags displayed here are advanced designs and not indicative of what participants will produce in this workshop. Image: Supplied
© Lynn Imbun

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Please note, the Bilum bags displayed in the image above are advanced designs and not indicative of what participants will produce in this workshop. Designs will be provided depending on skill level. A beginner pattern and an intermediate pattern will be available.

Ages: Recommended for 16+

Bilum is an ancient twisting and looping technique from Papua New Guinea using woven plant fibres to make traditional bags. The art of Bilum carries deep cultural significance and bags used for both the practical and the ceremonial. Today it has become a tool for empowering Papua New Guinean women as a means of financial security and preserving cultural knowledge and practice.

In this multi-day workshop, learn how to roll rope and construct your very own basic Bilum bag. Expert Papua New Guinean weavers Lynn Imbun and Veronica Van Der Padt, will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the art form, from its history and cultural significance to practical techniques and principles. Explore the diverse patterns, designs and materials which originate from the different regions of Papua New Guinea. Using supplied materials, you will learn a range of basic stitches and essential knots used in Bilum weaving. Then, under the guidance of Lynn and Veronica, begin to shape and weave the base, moving onto the frame and finally finish and secure the ends of your Bilum.

A brief introduction to more intricate patterns and decorative techniques will be given for those who wish to try something more advanced on their own after the workshop.

Please note while the aim of the schedule hopes to ensure you have a finished product by the end of the sessions, this will be dependent on skill level and if weekly homework is completed in between sessions.

Book your spot today to be a part of this hands-on workshop. Places are limited. Please note participants must be available for all three full-day sessions.

Light lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Suitable for beginners however all levels are welcome.



Workshop Schedule

  • Week 1: Saturday 6 April, 10am-3.30pm

    • Welcome and introduction to Bilum weaving.
    • Learn the history of Bilum weaving in Papua New Guinea, its cultural importance, and various styles through story telling.
    • Learn about the process, dyes and tools required to prepare the natural fibres (materials will be prepared for participants prior to the workshop).
    • Participants begin working with basic materials, learning simple weaving techniques.
    • Introduction to essential knots used in Bilum weaving.
    • Learn unique stitch techniques to shape and weave the base of the bilum.
    • Participants take their projects home to continue to practice.
  • Week 2: Saturday 13 April, 10am-3.30pm

    • Learn to set up and weave the frame of the bilum.
    • Learn circular weaving techniques.
    • Learn to incorporate these techniques weaving the frame of the bilum under the facilitator’s supervision.
    • Participants take their projects home to continue to practice.
  • Week 3: Saturday 20 April, 10am-3.30pm

    • Participants learn how to finish and secure the ends to their Bilum.
    • Participants are given a brief lesson with resources on weaving various patterns and decorative techniques they can practice if they wish to advance on their own post workshop.

Lynn Imbun

Lynn Imbun is a Papua New Guinean-Australian weaver, originally from Enga and the Hela province in Papua New Geuina who is now based in Sydney
Lynn Imbun is a Papua New Guinean-Australian weaver, originally from Enga and the Hela province in Papua New Geuina who is now based in Sydney. Image: Supplied
© Lynn Imbun

Lynn Imbun is a Papua New Guinean-Australian weaver, originally from Enga and the Hela province in Papua New Guinea who is now based in Sydney. Since moving to Australia, Lynn has been active in supporting other Papua New Guineans to help promote the rich diversity of their culture. Lynn speaks four languages including Engan, Tok Pisan, Hela and English and is passionate about helping her local church, volunteering at the Salvation Army and supporting individuals living with disabilities.


Veronica Van Der Padt

Veronica Van Der Padt is a Papua New Guinean-Australian weaver from the provinces of Chimbu and Eastern Highlands.
Veronica Van Der Padt is a Papua New Guinean-Australian weaver from the provinces of Chimbu and Eastern Highlands. Image: Supplied
© Veronica Van Der Padt

Veronica Van Der Padt is a Papua New Guinean-Australian weaver from the provinces of Chimbu and Eastern Highlands. Veronica started making bilums as a hobby and gifts it to her friends and families; she currently spends her days perfecting her bilum making skills at home. Veronica enjoyed years volunteering her time at various events including Starlight Foundation, Sydney Royal Easter Show, Blackmores, just to name a few.