Who Made It: The Artisans of Yoyamay | Burma

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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.

Thread Spun handmade surfboard bags using artisan textiles from Burma are shown in California.

Closeup of a Thread Spun artisan surfboard bag made with colorful textiles from Burma.

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.

The storefront of Thread Spun partner Yoyamay Textiles in Burma is featured.
A handmade surfboard bag by Thread Spun uses artisan textiles from Burma.

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.

A Chin weaver in Burma makes handwoven textiles like the ones used by Thread Spun to make surfboard bags and clutches.

Handmade surfboard bag by Thread Spun featuring handwoven textiles from Burma.

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.

Textiles like these from Chin State, Burma, are utilized by Thread Spun to make bags and surfboard bags.

Chin weavers utilize simple backstrap looms, and it typically takes between 20 and 30 hours to weave a table-runner sized piece of textile.

Mele Saile for Thread Spun with a handmade surfboard bag featuring handwoven textiles from Burma.

Mitch King with his custom mid-length surfboard bag by handmade surfboard bag company Thread Spun.

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.

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