Knowing where our materials come from and who contributes to the realisation of our pieces is at the core of who we are as a business, it’s our DNA. From the way we design and market our products to our pillars and values, we seek to empower and celebrate our Artisans by leveraging their expertise and traditional craftsmanship. We nurture personal relationship with our global community of Partners, many of which are women. Mothers, Sisters, Aunts and Grandmothers like us, whose skilful gestures, passed down from generation to generation, bring our designs to life. Their expert hands, their faces, their stories are woven into the fabric of every Thread Tales piece.
This year to celebrate International Women’s Day, we will follow the production process of our signature fabric, the Lotus. A journey that, from women’s hands to women’s hands, will lead us from Myanmar to the mountainous planes of Nepal, to mainland Europe and, finally, the UK. Along the way we will meet pickers, spinners, weavers, embroiderers, and artists.
The journey of the Lotus
The production of the Lotus is carried out entirely electricity-free, is zero waste, non-toxic and requires reduced water usage, making it one of the most sustainable fabrics out there. Its innate durability and resistance paired with its soft hand-feel, make it a versatile fabric that lends itself naturally to a variety of uses, from fashion to homeware and décor, to art.
The journey begins on the shores of the Inle Lake, in Myanmar, Southeast Asia. Here, the Intha people, during the harvest season, hand-pick the abundance of flourishing Lotus flowers, a naturally regenerative plant.
The precious spider-silk-like fibres are extracted from the stems with ancient gestures of mesmerising precision and hand-rolled into thicker threads.
Our team of expert spinners, spin the rustic fibre into yarn without any electricity.
The yarn is then hand-woven by our weavers on hand-operated wooden looms and using traditional wooden tools in workshops based in stilt-huts, on the shore of the lake, or in their own home.
For the production of the Lotus, the women of the village follow a centuries-old technique passed down from generation to generation. Young girls are trained by older and more experienced women, thus preserving this precious traditional craft and providing local women with fair, safe and fulfilling work opportunities.
Alternatively, when blended with Cashmere or other yarns, our Lotus travels to our Nepal-based workshop to the capable hands of our local team.
This year, our Lotus silk became the base material and inspiration for a one-of-a-kind work of art by Budapest-based textile artist Kinga Foldi, who used the leftover cuts from our scarves to create three-dimensional, true-size sculptures of Lotus flowers.