Month: June 2015

01

01

The  black cotton fabric for this airy pleated dress was hand-woven in the homes of the Dong families in Zhaoxing village. They used natural indigo and green persimmon to dye the fabric black, then sent it to the nearby Buyi people for hand-pleating using an ancient steaming method. The 3-ring metal necklace with engraved flowers was hand-pounded by an elder Miao silversmith in his little studio along the river. The materials were created by three different ethnic minority groups, so it is very multi-cultural from the local perspective. The materials used in this dress were created by three different ethnic minority groups, so it is very multi-cultural from the local perspective. Above look credits:   Sunny Lee (photographer), Yi Guo (stylist)

03

02

The black diamond-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. The silk worms for the fabric were raised in the homes of Miao villagers between the months of April and June, when they can be fed the fresh leaves of the local mulberry trees. This is the silk “fish-eye” pattern fabric in a yellow version The fabric was then dyed black by a Miao dye master using a special tree bark found in the mountain forest. The bark was removed during the month of August when it will not harm the tree. The hand-pleated skirt was made from organic cotton fabric hand-woven by the Dong minorities in Zhaoxing village. The fabric is brushed with water buffalo glue and tree sap for stiffness. Natural indigo and green persimmon are combined to achieve the black dye. The black hand-pounded metal pieces show Miao mythological motifs of dragons, half-men / half-birds, and sacred dogs. Traditionally, they were …

02

03

This black top was hand-woven by the Dong people. It is made of a basic cotton fabric that can be found in the homes of every ethnic minority in Guizhou province. Natural indigo and green persimmon are combined to achieve the black dye. The neckline is trimmed with hand-pounded metal pieces showing Miao mythological motifs of dragons, half-men / half-birds, and sacred dogs. The diamond-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. This is the silk “fish-eye” pattern fabric in a yellow version The silk worms for the fabric were raised in the homes of Miao villagers between the months of April and June, when they can be fed the fresh leaves of the local mulberry trees. The fabric was then dyed black by a Miao dye master using a special tree bark found in the mountain forest. The bark was removed during the month of August when it will not harm the tree. The belt was adapted from …

04

04

This perfecto jacket was adapted from the stiff traditional indigo-dyed hats worn by Miao tribes in eastern Guizhou. We went back to basics and re-wove the original diamond pattern in the natural color of the cotton fiber. It was brushed with water buffalo glue to stiffen the fabric and make it water-resistant. To make the pattern more pronounced in the fabric, we followed the traditional technique of pounding it all day with a wooden mallet. Worn underneath the jacket, 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. 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 …

05

05

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. 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. The whiten the fabric, it was placed in the sun to dry. (Horse dung was traditionally used to bleach fabrics, but we passed on that option.) Then, it was washed with a mineral powder that gives a dry feel and naturally repels mosquitos. The hand-pleated skirt was made from organic cotton fabric hand-woven by the Dong minorities in Zhaoxing village. The fabric is brushed with water buffalo glue and tree sap for stiffness. Natural indigo and green …

06

06

This lightweight cotton shirt dress is trimmed with a black diamond-patterned silk trim. It is made from a basic hand-woven cotton fabric that can be found in the homes of every ethnic minority in Guizhou province. Our version was made on the traditional Dong loom in our training program worship in Dimen Village. Due to the fine thread and gentle touch required to maintain its lightweight hand, it takes an entire day to weave 3 meters of narrow-width fabric (40 cm wide). The traditional motif belt is hand-woven on the same type of loom by the local villagers. Above look credits:   Sunny Lee (photographer), Yi Guo (stylist)

07

07

This long-sleeved button-down is made from a basic hand-woven cotton fabric that is woven in the homes of every ethnic minority in Guizhou province. The black circular print is a modern adaptation of a traditional Miao wax-resist pattern. The villagers use of this faster wood-block printing method shows how their production methods are evolving with modern times. The cinched-waist wide-legged pants are made from twisted silk and cotton fibers hand-woven by the Sui minority tribe. While the silk and cotton were sourced and produced locally in one village, it is unusual to have the two fibers twisted together in one yarn. Being able to control every stop of the fabric-weaving process enabled  us to experiment with fiber blends like this and create new modern qualities. Above look credits:   Sunny Lee (photographer), Yi Guo (stylist)

08

08

This airy long-sleeve shirt is made from a cotton and silk blend gauze handwoven at our training program workshop in Dimen village. The silk was raised in the homes of nearby villagers, and the naturally organic cotton was grown locally. Due to the delicate fine thread and gentle touch required to maintain its lightweight hand, it will take an entire day to weave 3 meters of narrow-width fabric (40 cm wide). It took seven days to weave enough fabric for one shirt.  The fabric was then boiled in water and washed with a mineral finish to gives a dry feel — that also happens to be naturally mosquito-repellant. The villagers usually produce durable fabrics, so it is unusual for them to produce such fine and lightweight silk blends. Being able to control every stop of the fabric-weaving process enabled us to experiment with fiber blends like this and create new modern qualities. These cinched-waist wide-legged pants 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 …

09 (front)

09

This breezy braided-back tank is made from a cotton and silk blend gauze handwoven at our training program workshop in Dimen village. The silk was raised in the homes of nearby villagers, and the naturally organic cotton was grown locally. Due to the delicate fine thread and gentle touch required to maintain its lightweight hand, it will take an entire day to weave 3 meters of narrow-width fabric (40 cm wide). The fabric was then boiled in water and washed with a mineral finish to gives a dry feel — that also happens to be naturally mosquito-repellant. The wrap-around pants are made from twisted silk and cotton fibers hand-woven by the Sui minority tribe. While the silk and cotton were sourced and produced locally in one village, it is unusual to have the two fibers twisted together in one yarn. Being able to control every stop of the fabric-weaving process enabled  us to experiment with fiber blends like this and create new modern qualities. The belt was adapted from indigo-dyed wax-resist cotton panels from Basha Village normally worn as a sign of marriage on their Miao pleated skirts. These panels are intricately hand-drawn over …

10

10

This perfecto jacket was adapted from the stiff traditional indigo-dyed hats worn by Miao tribes in eastern Guizhou. We went back to basics and re-wove the original diamond pattern in the natural color of the cotton fiber. It was brushed with water buffalo glue to stiffen the fabric and make it water-resistant. To make the pattern more pronounced in the fabric, we followed the traditional technique of pounding it all day with a wooden mallet. The dress is made from multi-colored damask panels hand-woven by Dong minorities. The fabric is traditionally worn as headpieces, or swung around in dance performances like this: Above look credits:   Sunny Lee (photographer), Yi Guo (stylist)