The fabric which makes up this bolster cushion is a true labour of love. Woven on a traditional wooden handloom, each piece has the feeling of embroidered detailing, whereas, in fact, the intricate pattern is incorporated into the weave of the fabric using an extra weft figuring technique. To produce the finely detailed border takes one artisan 15 days to set up the loom, and a further four days to weave just a single meter of fabric.
The diamond pattern used in this bolster cushion draws inspiration from the motifs commonly featured on the traditional skirts for Kachin women, known as longyi. We have adapted the design by using two tones of yarn on the weft and warp to give the piece a textured, quality.
The fabrics used in this collection are woven by three young artisans. Nu Nu Pan aged just 17 was born in a refugee camp in Kachin state. She now works alongside Pain Paing, aged 22, and 23 year old Aung San Oo in the city of Myitkyina, Northern Myanmar. The completed fabrics are transformed into a final product at the Turquoise Mountain Textiles Atelier in Yangon.
Kachin is Myanmar’s most northerly state, bordering China and Tibet and home to many different ethnic groups. For decades after Burma’s independence in 1948 it was a virtually autonomous region, however, since 2011 fighting in the region has resulted in many thousands of people fleeing to China or being displaced in the state itself. Today there are an estimated 100,000 people living in displacement camps.