The Beat - A pulse on our findings and adventures

The Tai Leu Chevron

Posted by Emi Weir on

The Tai Leu Chevron

  Last fall a customer came to us requesting a basic chevron pattern. Initially, we were reluctant. How could we create something that would satisfy  their request, but still stay true to the spirit of a Tai Leu  Textile? What could we create to stand out  among the vast sea of machine made zigzags being pumped out all over the world? Fortunately, Brittany, who has a degree in textile design, has an understanding of weaving, motifs and how they are  repeated, she was able to visualise the possibilities.  And the Tai Leu Chevron was born! ​​ ​Pictured below are examples of a very common...

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Who Made Your Clothes?

Posted by Emi Weir on

Who Made Your Clothes?

23-29 April is Fashion Revolution Week- Meet the Makers behind Ma Té Sai Five years of fashion revolution. Since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Savar, Bangladesh, which killed 1138 people, there has been a movement to ask brands for more transparency.  Now wearers should know where their clothing comes from, or at least ask. We have the ability to slow down fashion by consuming less, refashioning more, and wearing it out. And also through companies like our own, you can choose to wear artisan pieces, handwoven cloth, and contribute to village economies. So this week we are showing you who...

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Insights from a trip to America with two weavers

Posted by Emi Weir on

Insights from a trip to America with two weavers

Low season had settled in, stock had run down, customers dribbled in the shop infrequently. I got a call from The Asia Foundation, they were interested in sending artisans, from several of their countries under their women empowerment program, to the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, and wanted to know If I would take two weavers.  Naturally I was to take Lae from Savannakhet because the textiles she wove for Ma Te Sai were sewn at Sengsavang, which was sponsored by the Asia Foundation. And this was the place my relationship with the Asia Foundation has started. Quickly the scheme was woven...

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What makes TaiLeu cotton so good?

Posted by Emi Weir on

What makes TaiLeu cotton so good?

(as published in Garland Magazine Issue 6)​I was introduced to Navon in 2011, by SuSu, a French woman living and working at a boutique hotel situated along the Mekong River. The hotel had ordered cotton indigo towels for the pool and the weavers had made too many—the hotel could not purchase them all. Susu, in her benevolence, suggested I may want to sell them in my newly opened fair trade store. I purchased some of them. They were really more like shawls, and surely enough, they sold well. I ordered more. I went to visit Navon at her home to learn more...

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In Search of the Comb

Posted by Emi Weir on

In Search of the Comb

Today, you may only identify the Kui (pronounced Gway) people by a comb worn in the front of the women’s hair. And not all the women wear this. However Say, our driver, guide and true lover of the unknown, was in search of a Gui village, an ethnic group he had not met. On arrival, our first house encounter does not bode well. The women do not look happy and the men have the appearance of substance abuse. Everyone is inactive, and not smiling. So Say gets them going, he asks about their traditional dress, where they originally came from, how...

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