We love all of our artisan partners, but the weavers of Burma have a special place in our hearts. The woven textiles of the Karen people of Burma greatly inspired the idea for Thread Spun, and our first collection of board bags featured some of the Karen people's work. We purchased these textiles from a friend living in a refugee camp in Thailand, who sourced them directly from the refugee women who created them.
As Thread Spun grew, we knew we wanted to continue to work with artisan women from Burma, and partnered with Yoyamay Ethnographic Textiles in the capital of Yangon. Like Thread Spun, Yoyamay is committed to increasing access to fair wages and to cultural preservation. Their textiles can be found on many of our handmade surfboard bags.
Yoyamay's textiles are made by women weavers of the Chin minority, a population historically discriminated against and marginalized by the Burman ethnic majority. Weaving offers women the opportunity to make additional income outside of farming, and Yoyamay works directly with more than 200 Chin weavers.
Traditional Chin textiles utilize (often handspun) cotton and silk. Indigo and vegetable-based dyes are used to create the colorful designs, which reflect Chin culture and the environment.
Chin weavers utilize simple backstrap looms, and it typically takes between 20 and 30 hours to weave a table-runner sized piece of textile.
Each of the surfboard bags in our Chin Collection features these unique textiles and is completely one-of-a-kind. Your purchase of a Thread Spun handmade surfboard bag is a piece of art that is helping to empower women around the world. Check out our Chin Collection today, or contact us to design your own handmade custom surfboard bag using textiles from Burma.