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Clothing

Maiwa - Slow Clothes

Our clothing is about two things:

— wonderful style, grace and feeling,
— encouraging artisans and artisan techniques. 

We are making slow clothes.

Given the choice between a plain colour and a colour patterned by block printing - we'll almost always choose the block print. That keeps the skills of the block carver and printer alive. The same reasoning is behind our use of natural dyes. Natural dye use in our clothing drives a revival of dye knowledge and techniques and an entire network of communities.

These choices have implications for production. For example, we can kettle dye (at most) about five yards of fabric at a time. As the natural dyers among you know, dyeing needs many steps. One particular shade may require multiple mordants, and then multiple dyes. If it is blockprinted with different colours and patterns then there are many steps for each resist and each colour. All this happens on organic cotton before the cloth even reaches the cutter.

We also work with many types of handweaving in a range of natural fibers such as linen, cottons, wools, and wild silks. We are (quite happily, we feel) subject to the aritisan's timeline. Yes the monsoon does mess things up. And despite our best efforts sometimes weavers, dye farmers, artisans and techniques vanish. You may have just bought the last garment that will ever be made in that pattern, material and colour.

We exist to make exquisite, beautiful, artisan-made clothing that will last a long long time. That means we have to work a little differently. It would be great for us to be able to pick up the phone and call for another hundred pieces of that skirt that is such a hot seller. But we can't. Our complete turnaround time on production from fiber to garment is sometimes over two years.

So come into our stores and talk to our staff. We'd love to see you. We can't wait to tell you about our clothes.