Keeping Traditional Craftsmanship Alive
Born in Indonesia and raised around the world, the madebywave brand has a global heart and passionate soul. Keeping traditional craftsmanship techniques alive and supporting local artisans plays a huge role in the authenticity of the brand.
The madebywave craftsmen and women use centuries-old techniques to hand craft every product. This personal touch is so essential and I love that each piece wraps up a sense of history and identity within the material.
It’s also important that I support these makers as they face growing threats from fast fashion producers. It might seem an impossible task for small independent artisans to compete with factories but slow fashion is becoming more prominent. It’s a wonderful way to provide remote communities with sustainable economic support and development opportunities.
As consumers, we can choose to shop consciously and make a positive impact with our everyday activities. I believe that madebywave plays a part in contributing to this growing sense of awareness.
Ancient History and Rich Heritage
My products are inspired by the ancient Indonesian weaving techniques of which the local communities are so proud. Basket weaving dates back to the earliest human civilisations when baskets were used to transport and store food, water and clothing. They also played a key role in trade and were used for bartering. In modern-day Indonesia, rural communities use baskets to collect fruit or rubber.
Straw weaving is another technique steeped in local heritage. The madebywave beach bags and clutches have been woven using straw collected from the gebang palm tree indigenous to a number of countries in the southern hemisphere.
Every part of the beadwork is infused with heritage and passion, having been hand stitched in the Indonesian remote areas by skilled local artisans.
Time and Patience
The practice of weaving is closely aligned with ideas of meditation and mindfulness due to the focus and intense concentration that it requires. It is also traditionally seen as a sociable activity where members of the community congregate to work on their wares while catching up with friends and neighbours.
Among the weaving techniques that have been handed down through the generations, splint weaving with flat materials has always been common in Asia. Reed and cane from the Indonesian rainforests have long been used, as well as black and white bamboo.
Bamboo is a popular material in modern-day Indonesian craftsmanship. Sustainable harvesting techniques are used and the bamboo branches are cut down, left to dry in the sun and then kneaded into clay. They are then left to dry again before being split into narrow strips using a needlepoint and boiled in dye. After they have dried for the final time, the weaving process begins.
Weaving New Stories
The strips are woven together into a grid which is then used to mould the shape of each individual piece. It takes around two days days to weave a full basket and a similar time for each madebywave
bag. There is nothing quite like that unique personal touch and knowing that the bag you hold tells such a wonderful story.
The Indonesian weaving craft is slowly becoming recognised in the Western world thanks to figures such as Lim Masulin who are working to bring the nation’s craftsmanship onto the global stage. This fusion of the Eastern and Western worlds is beautiful to see and marks another exciting chapter in the slow fashion journey.