Tag Archives: weaving

Threads of Life

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One of the great arts of Indonesia is traditional weaving, which has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. Each tribe or region in this cluster of islands has their own style and patterns with specific meanings, as well as unique techniques for making their dyes.

Threads of Life is a Bali-based initiative that is centered around fair trade and conservation of this cultural history, especially in rural Indonesia. They help these communities, some of which takes two days journey to reach, sell these naturally dyed and locally made artifacts. Many designers have visited the store in Ubud for inspiration including one of my personal heroes, Donna Karan. Everything from growing the cotton to tending the plants used to make the dyes is done by these craftsmen and it takes months or even up to a year to finish one piece. We met the co-founder Jean Howe, an ex-San Francisco native who has lived in Bali for a couple decades, whose passion for preserving this craft was infectious. She took us to visit Threads of Life in Seraya where we could see in person the traditional textile weaving taking place from start to finish~

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Above- picking a piece of mature cotton right off the plant and showing how the threading process begins.

Below- using traditional tools to spin and make the tread.

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The Finest Silk

Silk has been in Italy for nearly one thousand years, but only one silk house has lasted through the ages.

Antico Setificio Fiorentino is the oldest silk-weaving workshop in Florence, in operation since 1786 with roots back to the Medici in the fifteenth century. There’s such amazing history in the shop… they still use the same 18th century looms (designed by da Vinci!), weave traditional patterns in bottegas, and only use hand-dyed silks without any chemical treatments.

The final product is absolutely breathtaking – rich in color, luxurious in sheen, and a wondrous work of art. It’s no wonder at quality this high they can count the Russian tzar and the Royal Palace of Denmark among their prestigious roster of clients.

  

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