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