Artisan Highlight: Dsenyo

Artisan Highlight: Dsenyo

We always get excited around here when we add a new artisan group to the shop. It means learning about a new textile technique, dreaming up excuses to carry a new handbag, and expanding our reach of artisans we're able to connect you to. 

Fair Trade Emerald Palm Clutch

Our Resort Collection features the amazing work of Dsenyo - who works to create sustainable jobs for women and artisans in communities where opportunities are scarce or simply nonexistent in northeastern Brazil.

One of the many things we love about this group is their focus on supplying artisans with both the skills and resources to become self-sustaining businesses. Raw materials are paid for up front which give the groups the ability to expand more quickly than normal and allows the artisans to not have to carry the financial burden of their materials. In addition to wages, the artisans also receive free training in several areas (sewing, business, fair trade, product design, quality control, etc) contributing to producers overall business development.

We also can't get enough of the woven texture of the bags paired with a classic, simple design. 

Handwoven palm products require a labor-intensive, highly-skilled production process. Artisans themselves harvest, process and work with the raw materials with little to no mechanical or technological help. The Dseyno artisans work specifically with a palm fiber called buriti. 

Like raffia, buriti is a strong, pliable fiber harvested from the leaves of the miriti palm, a native of South America. It looks like strands of dried grass or straw, only much longer. One of the things we love about palm is that it sustainably harvested, meaning the trees are not killed and are able to produce a harvest of it's leaves year after year. 

Here's a quick overview of the process of getting the palm leaves to becoming the stunning clutches you see in our Resort Collection:

Extracting the Fiber: 
Artisans extract buriti fiber from the palm fronds.  Using a small, sharp knife, they carefully pull a thin membrane from each leaflet.

Treating the Fiber: 
The fiber is strengthened by boiling it in water.  In its natural state, buriti is neutral in color - warm beige.  At this stage of production, buriti can also be dyed a wide variety of colors.  Using the leaves, fruit, bark, stem or root of various plants as dye produces more subdued tones.

Preparing the Fiber for Production: 
After the fiber is sun-dried, it’s divided into thin or thicker strands and separated according to length. Some fibers are twisted together and wound into threads for products that are to be crocheted or made by macrame.

We're especially taken by the handmade details of this Macramé Clutch

Fair Trade Macrame Clutch Purse

What do you think about this new line of clutches we're carrying in our Resort Collection?

Information is from the Dseyno Blog.

June 09, 2015 by Jen Lewis
Tags: Artisans
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