Is this silk organic?
Most of our textiles are completely organic. However the silks that have been dyed with acid dyes are not completely organic. I have specified on each product whether the dyes are completely natural (in which case the silks are 100% organic) or if the dyes contain acid dyes (in which case the dye is not organic).
How do you wash the silk?
-If the silk contains all natural dyes (which I state on the website and product tag), you can hand wash in cool water, any kind of laundry soap is fine, and lay flat to dry. I like to iron them when still slightly damp which gives a beautiful luster.
-If the silk contains acid dyes, I highly recommend dry cleaning.
-If you just want to "perk up" any of the silk without washing, steam iron it on medium heat and it will give the silk a gorgeous luster.
Shipping time and method
We currently use USPS, and try to get shipments out within a couple days of the order being placed.
Do you take returns?
We are a small fair trade organization so we ask you to limit returns so we can put our time and resources towards helping our artisans most effectively. Hand-crafted items are all slightly different, that is a key element of their charm and uniqueness. However, if there is a defect we are happy to process a return.
What are the dyes made from?
Our natural dyes are made from leaves, bark, clay, and other natural/plant based materials. Please keep in mind all of these silks are washed several times after the natural dying process and the dyes are fixed with ash, salt, and eucalyptus leaves. They will not run or fade. Here's where some naturally dyed colors come from:
However, there are some pieces with certain bright colors (which we cannot achieve through traditional natural dying techniques) in which we use acid dyes. These types of dyes are not used in large amounts, as we try to focus on natural dyes primarily. We note on each piece whether the dyes are 100% natural, or whether they contain acid dyes.
How do the weavers get paid?
When Kyley places an order with the weavers, she provides some money upfront for the weavers to buy silk cocoons. Once Kyley receives the order, the rest of the money for the shipment is immediately sent to the weavers.
What happens to the silk worms?
This silk market provides a financial incentive for Madagascar locals to protect the Borocera silkworms and the tapia forests in which the silkworms live. This is an important fact in a country that has high rates of deforestation, habitat destruction, and poverty.
That being said, when a Borocera silk cocoon is harvested, the silkworm inside must be removed because if it becomes a moth, the moth exiting the cocoon destroys the silk rendering the cocoon unusable. However the silkworms which are removed from the cocoons are not wasted. The locals cook and eat the silkworms, and they become a valuable protein source in an impoverished area where other protein sources are expensive and scarce.
In addition, the locals must allow a good percentage of silkworms to remain in the trees and turn into moths, so the life cycle can continue, and the level of silk cocoons in the forest does not deplete over time.