This long-sleeved button-down shirt is made from silk hand-woven by Miao grandmothers in eastern Guizhou. The time-consuming process of weaving silk threads on a hand-loom is now only found in the province’s most remote villages. Their silk worms are raised during the months of April to June, when they can be fed the fresh leaves of the local mulberry trees. It is then dyed grey using the same mulberry leaves from the surrounding mountain forest.
The entire process is done inside each family’s home: raising silk worms, spinning the thread, weaving on the handloom, and finishing the fabric in boiled water. The silk thread is so fine that only 10 centimeters of narrow-width fabric (38 cm wide) can be woven in one day. It took three weeks just to weave enough fabric for one shirt.
These reversible cinch-waisted shorts feature a matte diamond-patterned cotton on one side and a shiny silk version on the other (as worn on the model).
The diamond “fish-eye” pattern fabric developed for this jacket was originally inspired by the traditional indigo-dyed cotton version of the Buyi minority tribe in the south of Guizhou. In this modernized version, Miao fabric masters re-wove the pattern using silk thread in our training program workshop in Dimen village.
Above look credits: Stockton Johnson (photographer), Vanessa Bellugeon (stylist)