Indigo Ikat Pillow Cover: Real hand-dyed indigo textiles are a rare find and serve as exquisite pieces of art that you can proudly display in your home. These textiles showcase the craftsmanship and ancient techniques employed in their creation. The dying tradition itself is a meticulous and time-consuming process. What sets these textiles apart is the use of natural indigo, which contains no chemicals or toxic metals. Moreover, fabrics dyed with indigo are believed to be beneficial for the skin.
Indigo Ikat Pillow CoverProduct Details
- Material: Handwoven, indigo-dyed cotton + cotton lining
- Measurements: Available in 16″ x 16″ or 18″ x 18″ sizes
- Details: Zippered closure
- Handmade with love in Laos
- Each piece is a unique work of art due to slight variations resulting from the handcrafted nature
- Note: This listing includes the cover only; pillow insert not included
Laos: A Haven of Craftsmanship
Laos is a country known for its diverse ethnic groups, each possessing unique and highly adept craft and artisan skills. Modern living and cheap factory-made imports have caused many Lao to quit traditional crafts and rural livelihoods. Consequently, numerous traditional crafts in Laos are at risk of disappearing. In an effort to preserve these vanishing art forms, our design and production teams collaborate closely with artisan groups in Laos.
Guided by the principles of fair trade, we strive to create employment opportunities for villagers, particularly women, and reduce poverty. Each product is made and finished in the villages, allowing us to uphold the spirit of traditional craftsmanship while aligning with modern, natural lifestyles.
The Journey of Cotton
The cotton used in creating these exquisite pillows undergoes a labor-intensive process, highlighting the dedication of the artisans involved. Here are the key steps:
- Planting: The cotton is meticulously planted by hand and nurtured by the monsoon rains.
- Harvesting: It takes eight months for the cotton plant to produce its flower, which is carefully picked by hand.
- Ginning: The harvested cotton undergoes a difficult and tedious process of ginning, where the seeds are separated from the fibers by hand.
- Spinning: The fibers are then skillfully spun into yarn by hand, ready to be transformed into cotton cloth.
The Ancient Art of Indigo Ikat Pillow Cover Dyeing
Indigo dyeing is a skill passed down through generations and holds a rich history intertwined with myths. Here are some intriguing aspects:
- Cultural Beliefs: Menstruating women are kept away from the indigo jars to avoid upsetting the “indigo spirit,” as it could render the dye useless.
- Raw Materials: Indigo dye is derived from the leaves and shoots of the “kharm” plant, which grows abundantly in various areas of Laos.
- Art of Preparation: While obtaining the raw materials for indigo may be relatively easy, the actual process of making the dye is an art in itself. It involves fermenting the “kharm” and storing the mixture in air-tight jars at precise temperatures.
By supporting the creation of these hand-dyed indigo textiles, you not only bring an exquisite piece of art into your home but also contribute to the preservation of traditional craftsmanship and the livelihoods of Lao villagers.