The artistry of our product starts with the fibers employed in the weaving process. The fiber preparation process is analogous to turning raw cotton into yarn for apparel, except there are no factories or machines involved.
We employ farmers and villagers to harvest various sustainable plants into fiber ready for our weavers. Along the way, we insure that fair wages are paid and no child labor is employed.
Our products are made from sustainable plant fibers. Cellulose fibers are produced by plants, and are products of agriculture. Fibers are either bast fibers or seed fibers such as cotton.
Bast fiber is strong, has long fibers from the inner layer, between the bark and the core of plants such as flax, hemp, ramie and jute.
Flax, also known as linseed, is the plant that produces the bast fiber that is made into linen. Certified organic flax fiber is mostly grown in Europe and China.
Hemp is a fast-growing plant and comes from around the core of the stalk. It is hand-washed and dried, resistant to mildew and dyes well. As an environmentally friendly crop, it grows well in a variety of soil types and climates.
Ramie is also known as china grass, rhea and grasscloth and is a cellulose bast fiber from a shrub belonging to the Nettle family. It's naturally white with high luster and ranges from silky to coarse linen-like fibers. Used in many products. Often used for ropes and sails due to its strength. It is mildew and stain resistant. It's reported to be twice as strong as linen and has a smooth lustrous appearance.
Jute is extracted from the bark of the white jute plant. It flourishes in tropical lowland areas with humidity of 60 to 90%. Dubbed the "golden fiber", jute is long, soft and shiny, with a length of 1 to 4 meters. It is one of nature's strongest vegetable fibers. Abaca is extracted from the leaf sheath around the truck of the abaca plant, a close relative of the banana tree. The fiber is hand-washed and dried.
Abaca is a leaf fiber, composed of long slim cells that form part of the leaf's supporting structure. Abaca is prized for its great mechanical strength, buoyancy, and long fiber length - up to 3 meters. Abaca is extracted from the leaf sheath around the truck of the abaca plant, a close relative of the banana tree. The fiber is hand-washed and dried.The best grades of abaca are fine, lustrous, light beige in color and very strong.
The banana plant is a tree-like perennial herb. It is an herb because its aerial parts die down to the ground after growing season and it is a perennial because an offshoot growing at the base of the plant replaces the mother plant. What looks like a trunk is in fact a pseudo stem made from tightly packed leaf sheaths. The vast majority of producers are small farmers.
Arrowroot - because this fiber is abundant, sustainable and renewable, arrowroot is an environmentally friendly choice. These natural grasses grow along wetland areas, stream banks and mountainous regions. The fibers are isolated from leaves, sometimes fermented, and individually chosen for their silk-like natural beauty.
Water Hyacinth is an aquatic plant that can live and reproduce floating freely on the surface of waters. Proliferation is very rapid. After harvesting, the stems are dried, sorted and split, all by hand.
Raffia palm trees are native to tropical regions. They have fan-like leaves that grow up to 3 meters long. To harvest the leaves, people climb the tall, leafless trunk to reach the new, tender shoots at the center of the plant crowns. The harvesters cut these leaves with knives, a process that actually spurs new growth, completing a sustainable growth cycle that does not harm the tree. Artisans remove the plant fiber from the leaves, pulling strips carefully so that each comes off in one length. After prepping the fiber and drying in the sun, artisans can dye the natural-hued plant leaf fibers and then dry them in the same way to prepare them for weaving.
These fibers have been used in traditional weaving for centuries. Taking ancient traditions and combining them with modern design is what makes our product so beautiful! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.