In the net of tradition

I found it by coincidence. About eight years ago in Tokyo, away from the well-known shopping areas  I found a special net.
The lightness, structure and durability immediately inspired me. It weighs only 35g and can carry up to eight kilos.

It left me no peace of mind to explore the craftsmanship behind it more closely, and in doing so I came across a fairytale story.

 

The shopping nets are made by an indigenous tribe called Khmu in the north of Laos, whose culture goes back thousands of years.
In small, remote villages the bags are completely handmade.

The fibre is obtained from local fast-growing pea bushes. They split, dry and spin the fibre by hand and further process it
into bags of different sizes and different cuts. 
It takes about two weeks from the vine to the final product to make a single piece.

     
 
Traditionally, the Khmu used their handmade bags to collect food in the fields and forests.
But the plastic material of the sacks, which are used to import goods from China, has greatly decimated the craft.
For it has offered the Khmu a quickly implemented alternative.

Fortunately, an initiative for the handicraft has been launched, and with it the livelihood of individual families in many cases.
I have been in contact with them  for a year now and now I am very happy that this bag it part of our collection. 

Kindest, Philipp
     

 

                              KHMU 1