Long Thread Podcast Episode 7: Charllotte Kwon, Maiwa

Charllotte Kwon's company, Maiwa, partners with Indian artisans to expand the reach of traditional textiles. Along the way, the company has developed in-person learning, shopping, web resources, a fair-trade partnership, and more.

Anne Merrow Jul 20, 2020 - 2 min read

Long Thread Podcast Episode 7: Charllotte Kwon, Maiwa Primary Image

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Textile crafters and appreciative buyers know Maiwa Handicrafts as a source of one of a kind cloth and natural dye supplies. Over the 30-plus years since Charllotte first went to India, though, the company has developed a much broader mission. Through classes at their Vancouver, Canada studio, guided textile tours, books, and their new natural dye website, Maiwa works to strengthen the connections between producers of traditional textiles and an appreciative audience.

Founded on Color

Decades ago, recovering from a health crisis, Charllotte Kwon needed to find a new career as well as an outlet for her love of color. She fell in love with the designs, hues, and pace of India, and she developed Maiwa to partner with textile artisans. Beginning with embroidery and printing, she cultivated relationships with families working in longstanding craft traditions, then worked to develop markets to create a livelihood for villagers who work with natural color. Maiwa's latest project is a new website that includes an exhaustive list of dyestuffs and how to use them (including 8 different methods for dyeing with indigo).

In this episode of the Long Thread Podcast, Charllotte reflects on how the scope of her project has changed over the decades—and what she hopes uncertain times will bring.