A Journal of Craft, Travel and Culture

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Savon de Marseille

For me, there was nothing sexy about soap. I grow up with liquid bath products coming out of plastic bottles covered in banal branding design. The only soap I knew…

My Paris Books

When I left my country for the first time at the age of 15, a wise person gave me this popular advice – to read…

Retail space at Hanoi Design Centre Ethnic textile and cafe interior display at Hanoi Design Centre Ethnic textile space at Hanoi Design Centre Photoshoot set up in the studio Product development that incorporates contemporary design and local influence. In this picture: GO stools in white oak designed by Patrik Nilsson, inspired by street stools in Hanoi. Designers collaborate with local weavers during sample development

Hanoi Design Centre

Hanoi Design Centre was founded thanks to the collaboration between Vietnam Handicraft Exporters Association and Lund University School of Industrial Design, supported by the Swedish…

Lai luong means big flower in the language of Thai people in Hoa Binh. In this picture: lai luong brocade on handspun cotton. Photo: Patrik Nilsson Lai luong pattern digitalized in pixel for replication. Can pia pattern and variations in textiles by Thai women in Nghe An. Photos: Patrik Nilsson, Lucile Jaeghers Can-pia pattern resembles a wooden tool that local weavers use to prepare yarn before threading the loom. The sun is a common embroidery motif on the skirt hem of Thai women in Nghe An. Photos: Patrik Nilsson Story of the moon and sun patterns, from the Book of Pattern - Thai. Studying antique skirt belt with a Muong weaver in Hoa Binh. A renowned ethnologist who studied Muong art has said that skirt belts are the most pristine embodiment of the creativity and cultural identity of Muong people. Photos: Patrik Nilsson Chu Dong is a a mystic tree that appears in folklores and various forms of arts by Muong people. Dragon - one of the most prestigious motifs on the skirt belt of Muong people - has been exclusive to those in the upper class in Muong community. Photo: Hang Pham Beeswax patterns before and during indigo dyeing. Photo: Gregoire Abrial Earrings is one of the basic motifs that can stand alone as a pattern itself or be an element to constitute a more elaborated pattern. Inspired by the weaver's observation of real objects, Hmong patterns are simplified into abstract geometry. Hmong batik patterns are symmetrical and abstract; often composed to convey an intangible ideas such as security, happiness, freedom.

Books of Patterns

Textile patterns can be a language in themseves. As the knowledge of textile making passes from one generation to the next, the motifs in ethnic…

Ethnic Textiles at Lifestyle Vietnam

Lifestyle Vietnam is the major home decor and gift fair in Vietnam and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. In 2014, Dream Weavers project gave representatives from six…

Culture Through Untranslatable Words

Words or the lack thereof in can convey the unique identity of a culture. If you travel or speak another language than your mother tongue,…

I Wish I Could Go Traveling Again

We all have some songs that speak to our soul in a special, personal way. The wanderlust in me is awoken by the beautiful I Wish I…

Traditional batik meets contemporary design in the new collection by Hanoi Design Centre The new collection utilizes two main types of fabric (hemp, cotton) and three main decoration techniques (batik, embroidery and applique). Products in this picture: notebook sleeve - applique on plain hemp, round placemats - batik and applique on cotton, and Christmas ornaments - plain hemp fabric with raw hemp string. Products in the new collection: Placemats and coasters set mixing batik and plain hemp made by Hmong women. Modernizing pattern is a challenge for the batik makers who are accustomed to certain pattern sizes and designs. In this picture, an old Hmong woman finds way to adapt the Western fairy teapot pattern to batik The making of the constellation series designed by Gregoire Abrial, batik and embroidery on cotton made by Hmong women in Pa Co The making of the mustache pattern on the notebook sleeve. A Hmong woman twisting hemp by hand. Hemp is probably one of the most labor intensive materials in textile. Because the process is so time consuming and is traditionally done by hand, Hmong women always carry a roll of hemp with them to twist whenever their hands are free. Hmong men are forbidden to partake in the tedious process to turn the rough bask of hemp tree into weavable yarn, except for one step - pounding the raw fiber. Hemp weaving with backstrap loom is characteristic of the Hmong. One of the best batik makers in Pa Co displaying beeswax drawing skill. Women in Pa Co draws beeswax using this traditional canting, whose small size requires patience and high level skills to create delicate and consistent patterns. Two visitors examining the freshly drawn beeswax on handspun cotton. Hmong women in Pa Co make from scratch 40cm wide x 4.5m long pieces of batik on hemp or handspun cotton, to be used in their traditional skirts. Those pieces are the most impeccable display of the Hmong textile tradition. Traditional bamboo wind pipe is an irreplaceable part of any social events. Playing the pipe and dancing at the same time require significant strength, therefore Hmong men show off their physical capacity through wind pipe skills.

Hmong Textile Day

The Spell of Hmong Textiles is a three-day event organized by Hanoi Design Centre to introduce the tradition and new design potentials of textiles made by the Blue Hmong…

Nostalgic for Cement and Encaustic Tiles

The elegant, shabby and exotic look of cement and encaustic tiles enchant me and bring back visual memories from my childhood. A sustainable and artisanal material,…

Morralitos

I admire ethnic fabrics from the tropics – I adore their bold color ways, their abstract patterns, their daring twists. They are fun, passionate and spontaneous like…