Sourcing Luxury Silks From The World's Most Ancient Lands

 

Benjamin Fitzgerald

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Silk is one of the Earth's most delicate fabrics. Sourced from nature and intricately spun, the exotic rivers of India, and rain forests of Thailand and Madagascar provide a home for three leading silk manufacturers. Each work with local weavers and farmers to protect the authenticity of their precious silk and the ancient environments that surround.

 

Sawang Boran



Sawang Boran is both an artisan of traditional silks and promoter of sustainability. Working from the Isan village in Thailand's Khonkaen, the northeastern province is home to some of the best indigenous silk in the world. Sawang Boran was launched to reverse the destruction of authentic silk making; using local silkworm varieties, natural dyes, and age-old expertise for an all-organic production. 

Combined with fair prices, cultural ownership and artisanal creativity, Sawang's weaving techniques and aesthetic are very traditional yet reinvented. Artisans take pride in being able to do as many techniques and motifs as possible, meaning clients can find a range of patterns, colors and textures for their designs. The firm specializes in silk ikat, a cultural weaving technique, which is slowly disappearing across Asia. Sawang Boran believes their unique ikat are a wonderful new frontier for top-end designers to explore in crafting wearable art.

Available on Le Souk, the red silk ikat is a stunning, light vermillion for interiors and women's wear; while the ebony fruit handwoven float weave silk is a rich brown and mustard-hued cloth for ethnic-style dresses and blouses.

Wild Silk Market

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Within the leafy tropics of Madagascar, the Wild Silk Market supports the crafting of handmade silk textiles with local villagers. In accordance with vegan standards, the silks are produced using a no-kill method that conserves vital rainforest area without harming silkworms. Local Malagasy farmers are taught innovative and sustainable ways by the firm, to earn comfortable living wages. Then, yarns are refined as finished products into soft, beautiful silk that can be sewn, embroidered and dyed. All profits are returned directly to the Malagasy farmers and craftswomen, and Wild Slik Market - a Fairtrade Federation Member - aims to bring to the attention of the world the nation of Madagascar as an ecosystem worth sustaining and investing in.

Available on Le Souk, Wild Silk Market cloths come in natural colors with a textural feel. Best used in fashion accessories and home design products such as lighting or room dividers, the goldy-hued silks are flame retardant and thrive well in humid environments.

Loom To Luxury

 

The Indian city of Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world. For the past 800 years, Varanasi has been the original destination for handwoven silks, too. In an effort to expand the tradition of handwoven Baranas silk - those native to Varanasi, Loom to Luxury was created. Since 2013, the manufacturer continues to work with local master weavers who perform their delicate work on colossal hand looms along the Ganges River. Each silk is created with smoothness and vibrant colors, unique to Indian culture.

Available on Le Souk, the neon orange and pink brocade silk is an offbeat cloth for bags, blouses and coats; while the handwoven blue brocade is a traditional-inspired, contemporary brocade crafted from jacquard loom techniques.