Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Bedding from Two Block Print Traditions


Maiwa’s kalamkari bedding is block printed by hand on 100% organic cotton using natural dyes. Floral motifs and geometric embellishments invoke the Persian influence found in traditional kalamkari. The bedding is a sumptuous combination of line and colour.


Bagh block printed bedding adds character and depth to any room. The patterning is a beautiful balance of figure and ground that allows motif and colour to sing together. Printed on 100% organic cotton using natural dyes and traditional techniques.


What is Kalamkari?

The mordant-dye technique resulted in brilliant, fast colours that could withstand washing. These were exported from the port of Marsulipatnam (on the east coast of India) where, between 1600 and 1800 they formed the basis for one of the largest international trades in textiles ever known. To increase production, carved wooden blocks replaced pens. In the European markets both printed and painted cottons became known as “Chintz." Today the term refers to almost any textile with floral patterning, but at the time "chintz" denoted a cotton cloth, usually with a white ground, printed or painted with natural dyes.

The European market was not the first, however, the port of Marsulipatnam previously exported kalamkaris to the markets of Safavid Persia. The Persian influence has remained in the floral borders, motifs, and geometric design of the patterning.

Today Marsilaputnam is still a centre of kalamkari block print production. The original natural dye knowledge is still applied and the results are just as beautiful as they were centuries ago. First the cloth is bleached by "dunging" — a treatment with buffalo or goat dung after which the cloth is dried in the sun for a few days. The cloth is mordanted with myrobalan, a tannin bearing nut which grows nearby. Black outlines are printed with an iron solution and areas that will be red are printed with an alum mordant. The various colours are achieved through printing resists, mordants, and then immersion dyeing with different dyes. When using wooden blocks to print, gum is mixed with whatever substance is to be delivered onto the cloth.

Maiwa is dedicated to keeping the art of kalamkari alive. We carry kalamkari bedding, pillows, cushion covers, and we use kalamkari in our clothing designs.



What are Bagh Block Prints?

The graphic impact of a Bagh block print is due to the dramatic use of of red and black; a style which originates with the Bhil and Bhilala cultures residing in Madhya Pradesh, India. The printers of Bagh are Khatris who migrated south from Rajasthan during the Mughal incursions. They remained to take advantage of the high copper content of the Baghini river. Today, a few small studios still follow a traditional block printing process.

Light and medium weight cotton cloth is scoured and prepared with a complex mixture containing tannin. The cloth is printed with mordants, but as the mordants themselves give no colour during application, a bright pink dye is added - traditionally from the dhawda (flame of the forest) flower. This dye permits the artisans to check registration of the patterns and align overprints. Areas which appear pink during this initial stage will appear deep red when the cloth is finished.

Traditional dye methods include the fermentation of iron-water to give a black colour. Horseshoes and other scrap iron is added to a jaggery-water mixture in a process which can last between fifteen and thirty-five days. The distinctive blocks are carved from hardwood and can print thousands of impressions before needing to be recut.

Washing during the various stages of the printing process is still done by the riverside. Lengths of unfinished cloth with the distinctive pink colour are evidence of traditional artisans at work.

Maiwa works with Bagh craftspeople using traditional block printing techniques. The bold patterns are a proud and dramatic statement of the cultural heritage of this area.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Maiwa Lecture Series

- Lecture Series -

Featuring top artisans & crafts people from around the world.


Woven Symbols, Global Patterns

Sara Goodman & Mary Zicafoose

A Tenuous Balance: Sculptural Textiles

Mo Kelman

Inspired By Our Strange Society

Tilleke Schwarz

The Art of Ajrakh

Jabbar & Adam Khatri

Inspired Displacement: Translating Travel into Textiles

Lisa Klakulak

The Marlinespike: Roped Into Art

Tim Whitten

Kantha Quilts of Bengal

John Gillow

Marvels & Wonders: Geometric Design in Cairo During the Mamluk Sultanate

Eric Broug

The Craft of Travel - SOLD OUT

Charllotte Kwon & Tim McLaughlin

Lectures Start September 6th.

$15.00 each

Tickets purchased online after August 20th will be held at the door.

Tickets available online at schooloftextiles.com
or in the Maiwa store on Granville Island

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The KindCraft: In Conversation with Maiwa.

Not long ago Charllotte and Sophena Kwon sat down for an in-depth interview with The KindCraft. The result was a wide-ranging conversation that touched on many of the key elements of Maiwa's thirty-year journey. 

The KindCraft

From artists in New York to the villages of Southeast Asia, The Kindcraft takes you on a journey around the globe and into the maker’s studio. These stories celebrate people creating traditional art and contemporary craft.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Brooklyn Tweed Pop-Up Shop is Open

From the moment we found Brooklyn Tweed we were smitten. It was easy for us to relate to their passion for fibres and for keeping the integrity of the yarn.

We've brought 5 Brooklyn Tweed lines into our Granville Island Supply store;
choosing the bestselling colours, as well as their top patterns and books.

Brooklyn Tweed will only be available in our Granville Island Supply store.



Thinking of making a trip to visit our Brooklyn Tweed pop-up shop?
Here is eveything you need to know.


Woolen-spun yarns have been designed for lightness and loft – their woolen mill preparation and lightly spun ply structure are what makes them unique.

When a yarn is woolen-spun, the fibers remain in a lofty jumble that traps air and offers remarkable warmth and lightness. Its plies are gently twisted to preserve the buoyant quality inherent in the fiber. Woolen-spun yarns create featherweight fabrics and provide a significant amount of yardage per skein. Slightly thinner or thicker sections can occur during woolen spinning due to the 100+ year old mill equipment, adding to the hand-crafted quality of these yarns. Since Brooklyn Tweed never uses harsh chemical scouring, you’ll find the occasional fleck of vegetable matter that remains as evidence of the sheep’s life on the Wyoming rangeland.

Worsted-spun yarns are designed for superior strength and stitch definition. Worsted spinning involves combing all the fibers into smooth alignment before spinning to produce a perfectly even roving. Thanks to their construction, worsted spun yarns produce a dense and sturdy fabric.


Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun and dyed in Maine
Worsted-spun 2-ply | 450 yards | 50g hank

Vale is the laceweight member of Brooklyn Tweed’s all-American, breed-specific core line. This yarn begins on the Wyoming plains with 100% Rambouillet fleece, grown by sheep that trace their lineage to medieval France, where this offshoot of the merino was prized as the king of breeds. Rambouillet is even loftier and bouncier than merino, and is spun worsted for a soft, springy, durable two-ply yarn that yields ethereal accessories. Scoured and combed into buttery smooth, consistent top in South Carolina, the wool travels north to Maine for spinning at an historic mill and dyeing at an eco-friendly facility nearby. Vale’s custom palette of 14 shades shares some touchstone colours with our Arbor line and fills in with sophisticated softer tones. Vale is a polished yarn with an even weight and twist, suitable for heirloom-quality lace projects. 

Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun and dyed in Maine

Woolen-spun 2-ply | 145 yards | 50g hank

Arbor represents an exciting expansion for Brooklyn Tweed: working with new American partners, they've developed a DK-weight workhorse yarn, spun worsted for superior strength and stitch definition and dyed in a nuanced palette of 30 solid colors.

Purebred Targhee sheep from Montana and South Dakota lend their distinctive fleece, a finewool with the softness of merino enhanced by longwool genetics for added durability. Jagger Brothers, an historic mill in southern Maine, spins the fiber into a round and springy 3-ply that loves to cable and shows textural stitchwork to maximum advantage. Saco River Dyehouse, an organically certified dyeworks operating nearby, provides a custom skein-dyed palette with minimal impact on the planet.

Thanks to its worsted construction, Arbor produces a denser, sturdier fabric than the woolen-spun yarns. The fibers have been combed straight and carefully aligned before spinning, rather than jumbled to trap air. Garments knit from Arbor will weigh more and drape more heavily than those knit from Loft or Shelter.


Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun in New Hampshire
Woolen-spun 2-ply | 140 yards | 50g hank

The distinctive character of Targhee-Columbia wool shines in Shelter, a versatile medium-weight yarn. Shelter is woolen spun, meaning the fibers remain in a lofty jumble that traps air and offers remarkable warmth and lightness. Its two plies are gently twisted to preserve that buoyant quality, so Shelter is a little more delicate than most commercial yarns. Woolen-spun yarns are also more adaptable in gauge, as they can compress to a dense sport weight or bloom to cohere as a gauzy fabric when worked on large needles. Shelter has a dry, soft hand and a faintly rustic nature; woolen spinning sometimes results in slightly thinner or thicker sections, and you’ll find the occasional fleck of vegetable matter that proves our wool is never treated with harsh chemicals. Garments knit from Shelter achieve their full beauty after a wet blocking, as each stitch relaxes and bonds with its neighbors to produce an even, light, plush fabric with a halo. You shouldn’t notice any change in gauge. Shelter is designed to be a workhorse yarn that invites cables, ribbing, textured stitch motifs, open work, plain stockinette and garter stitch. It’s ideal for sweaters of every variety, winter accessories, and blankets.

Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun in New Hampshire
Woolen-spun 2-ply | 275 yards | 50g hank

Fingering-weight Loft channels Targhee-Columbia wool’s airy bounce into feather-light lace, accessories, and garments. Like Shelter, Loft is a woolen-spun 2-ply yarn with delicate twist, specially designed for unique lightness of hand. It’s not a sock yarn, so treat it a little more gently when it’s on the winder and the needles. Once your garment is blocked, the stitches will cohere in a beautifully even and sturdy fabric. Lace garments should open up to reveal stitch motifs with relatively mild blocking. Loft has great flexibility of gauge; it can be knit on 2mm (US 0) needles for a dense and durable fabric or on 4mm (US 6) needles for ethereal open work. Two strands of Loft held together can substitute for Shelter in patterns where you’d like greater stitch definition or a marled fabric of two colours.

Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun in New Hampshire
Woolen-spun 3-ply | 200 yards | 100g hank

Quarry is a chunky brother to Shelter and Loft inspired by roving-style “unspun” yarns, offered in pillowy 100-gram skeins. This yarn begins with three strands of the same lofty, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia fleece, but rather than twisting the individual plies, they are nestled together and gently spun as a trio. The result is a plump yarn that looks like a single ply and has greater tensile strength and stitch definition than a true unspun yarn. Quarry has a soft and rustic hand. The yarn’s one-directional twist may cause it to twirl between the needles and the ball while you’re knitting, but the fabric will be well balanced with no biasing. Quarry knits will bloom to become cohesive and supple after a wet blocking. You shouldn’t notice any change in gauge. This yarn loves to cable and beautifully renders all kinds of textural stitch work. Despite its soft structure, it can be worked at looser gauges without loss of integrity to the fabric. It’s ideal for sweaters, coats, blankets, and cozy accessories.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Maiwa East Summer Sale 50% - 80% Off

- to grow the Maiwa School of Textiles -

Maiwa is selling some very special items at lovingly reduced prices in order to make space for the Maiwa School of Textiles.




Thursday August 10th  —  10am - 6pm
Friday August 11th  —  10am - 9pm
Saturday August 12th  —  10am - 5pm

1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver BC   604.251.3980

Cannot be combined with other offers

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bandhani Shawls from India

Hand-tied Bandhani Scarves & Shawls

The name “Bandhani” derives from the Sanskrit term meaning “to tie.” Tied resist is a traditional technique that has been practiced in India for centuries.

Each dot is the result of creating a tiny peak in the cloth and then tightly wrapping thread around the peak to resist the dye. Artisans work with precision as they slowly pattern the entire cloth - a lengthy process with an exquisite outcome. 

Multiple colours are the result of variations of both the tying and dyeing process. In Japan, this type of shaped resist is known as shibori. In the West small tie-and-dye pieces were widely traded and became known as “bandanas” - after the Indian term bandhani. During the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s, large brightly coloured, tie-and-dye patterns became emblematic of the hippie movement. The eloquent and finely detailed tie-and-dye known as bandhani predates this style by over a thousand years.
Maiwa works directly with bandhani artisans from Rajasthan and the Kutch Desert of Gujarat, Western India.

These shawls are made of 100% silk and 100% cotton. Some are finished with tiny pom-pom fringes. All retain the distinctive sculptural texture of the bandani process. These are versatile and beautiful cloths: a distinctive accent when worn, and equally elegant when placed on a table or hung in front of a window.

Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Here to Stay - Free Shipping on Orders of $200 or More

Visit maiwa.com and receive
within Canada and the continental U.S.A. 


Maiwa is constantly adding new products to the website.
Check back soon for updates.


Cannot be combined with other offers.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

For The Love Of Indigo

Clearest. Deepest. Blue.

Sizes from 30g up to 2.5 kg. Our large sizes are priced at a wholesale rate so that all artisans can participate in the magic that indigo brings.

Maiwa's Natural Indigo

Decades ago, Maiwa began looking for blue. The word “indigo” was everywhere, but the legendary dyeplant proved much more elusive. It had been a little over one hundred years since the German chemist Adolph von Baeyer had discovered the chemical formula for indigo and worked out a way to synthesize it industrially. During that time farmers who grew indigo and those who knew how to extract it became increasingly rare.

Indigo has great longevity: archeological evidence of its use dates back to Indus valley civilization in the third millennium BCE. Ancient cultures—Greek, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, Indian—all created distinctive textiles based on indigo blue. Remarkably, indigo was also used in Central and South America, where it was independently discovered. Blue seems to be both universal and at the same time deeply tied to the culture that uses it.

Maiwa, after thirty years, has formed an intimate relationship with indigo. We have worked with historians like Jenny Balfour Paul, researchers like Dominique Cardon, and botanist-chemists like Michel Garcia. We’ve brought together block printers from Rajasthan and the Kutch desert and placed them in the same natural dye studio as ikat weavers from the south and eri silk farmers from Ethiopia. Indigo connects them all.

Maiwa's indigo is grown in Southern India. Here the plants drink in the tropical sun before farmer-producers transform the green indigoferra tinctoria into a colour that is beloved by artisans the world over. We've just received a fresh harvest.

MAIWA Productions
DVD - Indigo: A World of Blue

On Sale $10.00 (Regular $21.95)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Additional Spaces Have Become Available

Another fall symposium and workshop session is on the way.

See the list below for spaces that have become available and follow the links to the registration site
for the most comprehensive line-up of textile workshops in Vancouver.

All workshops below have openings as of this posting.


Full course descriptions, information on our studios, and our cancellation policy can be found at:

Monday, July 17, 2017

50% off Maiwa Cabinets - The last ones we have.

Own a Piece of History.

Exhibitions and workshops need the space taken by these cabinets.
We are letting them go at 50% off the ticket price. This is your chance!
All sales final - no holds - full details below.

All these cabinets are vintage antiques, collected throughout India. Some pieces have been refurbished.

See our listing of cabinets.

We expect this incredible sale to generate considerable interest so furniture will be sold on a first-come / first-reserve basis.

Here's the deal:

• All furniture can be purchased at Maiwa East (1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver BC, V5L 3M3)  OR  by calling Maiwa East at 604-251-3980.

• Phone requests will be honoured in the order they are received.

• A 50% deposit is needed to hold pieces for purchase.

• Once the deposit is taken customers have 48 hours to confirm purchase and complete payment.

• After 48 hours pieces not purchased will go back on sale and deposits will be refunded.

• All pieces must be picked up at Maiwa East within 2 days of purchase.

Please Note:

• We cannot accept email reservations. Please do not send credit card information via email.

• This sale is to clear space. Maiwa cannot store your item longer than 48 hours after purchase.

• Shipping is the customer’s responsibility. We are happy to recommend a delivery company that we use.

Our staff at Maiwa East will be happy to help assist you through the process of adding a piece of history to your home.