It's nearly 12 years to the day that I first received a humble parcel of hand woven scarves delivered to my then apartment in New York City. Samples that would mark the beginnings of a partnership with talented artisans in Ethiopia to produce our very own label.

Countless emails, phone calls, design samples, a trip to Addis Ababa (while 8 weeks pregnant with our first son!) and years of nurturing and growing and we find ourselves here today still just as passionate about those same hand loomed pieces as I was the day I excitedly unwrapped them!

May Home Store blanket and cushions and scarf

It was my heart to see beautiful design partnered with ethical craftsmanship.

To create useful products made with respect to nature and the people who crafted them, but also that were naturally styled.  Thoughtfully made items that would align with a more simple and elegant design aesthetic.  Sounds simple.
 At the time, fairly traded products were only available in often tie dyed designs, bright colours and at specialty fair trade stores which looked more like chaotic marketplaces, so what we set out to do was a fairly new concept.  It hasn't been the easiest of journeys and I'm sure there is easier ways to manufacture textiles.  However, that's the thing about doing something the time honoured way.  It benefits the people.  It benefits the environment and it benefits the end user - you.

Growing to understand the depths of our production processes, nurturing sustainable practices as well as crossing the hurdles of simply working in Ethiopia has been a huge learning journey over years. 

Through every step of the production process our products are loving crafted with care, upholding traditional craftsmanship and celebrating the beauty of slower more thoughtful production methods developed from age old techniques and the beauty and uniqueness of that is something that still astounds me.

Fast forward to now and we have now have hundreds of stories of our people who have collected our products over years and how they have become treasured heirlooms.  How one lady took her hand loomed throw away on her honeymoon as a beach towel and then years later used it in the hospital as a breast feeding cover during an extended stay when her new baby was born and the beautiful sentiment the piece carried for her.
 That's always been my hope, that our pieces would be ones that would carry you through life, items that will become part of a life time of memories made with you.  Products that a truly authentic and that you can love, live with and use every single day for years…and years to come.

Our process

Each scarf or throw starts out as a humble ball of cotton picked from small operating farms in Southern Ethiopia. The cotton is then purchased at market before being hand spun on wooden spindles and bundled before being passed onto our dyeing team.

The cotton is then dyed using a combination of natural colours found in often locally grown flowers, plants, herbs and spices as well as AZO free, REACH certified, environmentally friendly man-made dyes.  These dyes are meticulously combined in steel pots and then the fibres are soaked in small batches transferring the rich colours onto the cotton.

The cotton is then washed by hand before being hung out to dry in the Ethiopian sunshine.  These bundles of cotton are then given to our weavers who often work from their homes enabling them to continue to be a part of their community and family as well as being given the freedom to choose when and how often they work.

 The weaving process can take over 3 days to complete a single piece.  Each scarf or throw is woven on traditional wooden looms using skills passed down through the generations.

Once woven, the scarves and throws are brought to our fringing team who hand fringe knot by knot the edging on each piece by rolling the loose fibres along their thigh and tying a knot to secure them.  From here, the pieces are given to the washing department where they are triple washed to ensure optimum softness before they are hung out to dry in the sun.

Finally each scarf is ironed and given to our finishing team who inspect each piece for quality and consistency and who then hand stitch on our May Home label.

From our artisans in Ethiopia to our shop in Adelaide where each piece is given a cotton tag and placed in our signature cotton bags and finally, to your home!  We are immensely proud of the phenomenal journey our pieces take to completion and are honoured to be a part of sharing the story with you!

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