From the beginning, when we went for durability, handicraft and quality, we felt the need to share what we learn from our weavers with our followers. That is why you regularly see photos and videos of our weavers on Instagram and Facebook. They sit behind their looms, dye the yarn or show their scarves. This is how we try to convey a bit of our enthusiasm for traditional handicrafts to you.
In a world where the lowest price wins, you have no chance as a poor weaver.
Recently, the fashion world and trendsetters have shared our fascination. We read that in this article by Elle about summer scarves. Traditional handicraft was mentioned as one of the fashion trends for 2021. We can only be happy about that. It feels a bit like recognition.
Traditional handicraft at The Happy Scarf
Because all our scarves are woven by hand, we can safely say that handicraft is central to us. And we are proud to be able to help our weavers continue this tradition. They learned the techniques of weaving their fabrics from their mothers, grandmothers and fellow villagers. All this in the hope of learning a trade with a future.
The fast fashion market, which is flooded with cheap fabrics and clothing from China and India, is putting pressure on this future. Yet the women in the Thai countryside continue to weave bravely. They often have no other choice.
But they don’t have it easy. Because what can you ask for when days of work behind the loom have to compete with mass products from weaving factories. In a world where the lowest price wins, you have no chance as a poor weaver.
Is slow fashion going to save traditional handicrafts?
Fortunately, real connoisseurs know how to appreciate the work. Slow fashion is gaining ground and an increasing group of consumers are opting for quality and sustainability. As a result, the ladies still receive a fair price for their labor. This is important because in some areas the family’s income is partly made up of the sale of fabrics.
The detail has no secrets
Since we know how our scarves are made thread by thread and how much work goes into making a fabric, we appreciate the detail of fabrics more and more. That detail tells its own story. In it you can see how experienced a weaver is. How evenly she has distributed her forces and how consistent is the pattern she has followed.
Sometimes you see how she dyed the yarn. She often uses plants, flowers, bark, etc. as a dye, which she collects in nature near her home. She also got her painting techniques from previous generations. When you realize this, you look differently. The fabric becomes even more beautiful and valuable. If you look closely you can see the art of weaving.
Back in time
On our purchasing trips, weavers often show us old fabrics. Often there is a story to it. The story of the one who wove the cloth. Where they bought the yarn. Or how it was painted.
We are often surprised when we hear how the value of some substances increases over time. Handwoven fabrics are a good investment in Asia. There is little concern about old store stocks as they usually only increase in value.
Unfortunately, we are not there yet in our consumer society. Old clothing often ends up in the waste unnecessarily quickly. That’s part and parcel of Fast fashion.
a long life
Fortunately, the realization is now growing that things can be done differently. That clothes can be worn for more than a season. This, of course, on condition that the quality allows it. And if it is still a piece of clothing that has been carefully made by hand, you are completely fine.
Like with a scarf of The Happy Scarf, for example. Because you can read the whole story there.
And don’t forget to pay attention to the detail.