Our Ethiopian handloomed products are entirely handmade and ethically produced from Ethiopian sourced natural fibers. The process starts with locally grown fibers such as Ethiopian cotton, and Eri Silk, to the spinning of the yarn, to the dyeing of the yarn or fabric and to the weaving of the fabric.
We are proud to collaborate with exceptional ethical Ethiopian artisanal companies, members of the World Fair trade organization which specialize in their craft and are meticulous with regards to quality.
Our artisanal partners empower the local workforce, especially women, with trainings and workshops, whilst developing their skills and ensuring social benefits.They also collaborate with community organizations and cooperatives throughout Addis Abeba as well as rural areas.
In Ethiopia, many women spin raw cotton into thread in their homes. They buy the raw cotton from the market, separate the seed from the fiber and then spin it on a drop spindle into beautifully soft thread. They then sell the ‘cones’ of cotton thread.
The skill of hand spinning is passed down from mother to daughter and most rural women spin at their homes for extra income.
Hand spun cotton is very textured and soft and ensures each product is unique.
Hand weaving has been a way of life for centuries in Ethiopia. Even today, almost all the traditional Ethiopian clothing is made on hand looms. The art of weaving is passed down from father to son, thus traditionally almost all weavers in Ethiopia are men, though women are increasingly training to weave nowadays, empowering themselves and enabling them to provide for their families.
The techniques have not changed much for centuries but the patterns, colors and designs have become increasingly sophisticated. Many of the skilled weavers come from the Konso and Dorze ethnic groups in Southern Ethiopian and have relocated to Addis Ababa.
Each piece is a work of art, patiently created by a talented Ethiopian artisan. We are in constant awe of their talent and skill.
Setting up the loom itself is a time intensive process that can take a whole day and more, depending on the design. A weaver can produce one to three panels per day depending on the level of detail of the design.
Our fair trade partners are working to rekindle the tradition of natural dye in Ethiopia. The team uses indigineous flowers, leaves, bark, roots and insects such as cochineal to create subtle colors in silks, as well as a variety of Ethiopian natural dyes such as coffee, onion skin, tea, safflower, and marigold.
Natural dyes such as indigo and log wood are imported.
Our pure indigo pigment is extracted from fresh leaves of Indigofera Tinctoria through the process of fermentation and precipitation.
It is grown and harvested from the soil in Tamil Nadu, South India.
The method of extraction of indigo is only possible in Southern India, where its climate is warm and mild.
A team is dedicated to “finishing” each product and ensure it is ready to go out for export. Finishing involves cutting the ends of the fringes so they are clean, ironing them and quality checking each piece.
Another team will hand twist and knot the fringes on the products. This is a time-intensive process of twisting and knotting the end threads to make the beautiful fringes. Once quality checked, the products are packaged and shipped.
NEW YORK CITY & BROOKLYN, USA
By fitting and correcting patterns in New York City, producing in local family owned studios, and promoting sustainable textiles, we chose to reduce carbon emissions and support small local businesses.