Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting Marie Wustner, a recent transplant to Vancouver, BC. Marie has come here from Buffalo, NY, and as unfortunate as they are to lose her, we are fortunate. You see, Marie runs Bali Silks, and importer and distributor of fine natural silks from Bali. She has a website – BALI SILKS – and you’ll find all the information you need there, but I can’t help putting up a post about the wonderful things she’s doing here (and there) now.
Marie, along with her business partner Komang Suweni, believe that it is up to each individual to stand behind their own individual philosophy and ideals in everything they do, including the choices and purchases they make. After a decade long friendship they have created a company that gives you the ability to choose fair trade, organic, ecologically and socio-economically sustainable products for your knitting needs – well, at least where the silk is concerned. Their products are 100% organically grown and naturally dyed fibers, and as such won’t expose your skin or the environment to the harmful chemicals used in a lot of textile processes. Also, because the health and care of the silk worms is of utmost importance, pesticides are not used in the production of the silk. Even with these stringent self-imposed regulations, or maybe because of them, Bali Silks is able to provide an exceptional product at a reasonable price for the fiber artist.
From the website you will get all the information about how the silk is made and what’s used in the dyeing process. You’ll discover the use of such materials as mango leaf (ca I get the mangoes Marie?), tumeric, indigo, and awar-awar leaf. There is an exceptional 10 minute documentary video (SILK PRODUCTION) as well showing the entire silk making process and the Balinese people that are doing the work. It is refreshing to know that in this day and age, there are still people that value integrity over profit and that there are ample benefits for the people employed by Bali Silks to work in the production of the silk. Employees are given medical benefits, fair wages, and are aided in buying land and gifted a home to build on that land after 10 years of employment.
Purchases for the silk can me made directly from the website. I have my hands on some of this fantastic silk and will be knitting up something with it in the near future. I’ll definitely be doing a post to show you the results!