This exceptional shawl has detail work that will amaze. That is why we call it "mahay" [mah-high] which means "talented" in Madagascar. Our weavers put extra expert skill into this one. Each piece of silk on our website is hand-woven, however this shawl is also hand-patterned by the weaver. To make these special patterns they use small sticks to hold the warp yarns up while weaving in the pattern, and change the sticks on each weft row insert to form the design. It takes a lot of skill and attention to detail to weave these patterns by hand. This technique has existed for centuries in Madagascar, and has been passed down from mother to daughter for generations.
It is 100% Madagascar silk and completely hand-crafted (hand spun yarn, naturally dyed, and hand woven on a floor loom). The women of the Solidarity Cooperative craft each piece in their small village in the central highlands of Madagascar.
This shawl contains two different species of silk: 1) Wild Borocera silk which is only found in Madagascar. The black and golden brown colored yarn is naturally dyed Borocera silk. 2) Cultivated Mulberry silk. The cultivated Mulberry silk is the white yarn, which is it's undyed natural color.
Only natural dyes are used, such as leaves/bark/clay. The dyes are fixed, and will not run or fade. This beautiful piece will last a lifetime.
Your purchase directly helps a weaver in our cooperative support her family. It also preserves the cultural tradition of silk weaving in Madagascar.
Each piece comes with a lovely tag that tells the story of the silk and has washing instructions.
Washing instructions: Hand-wash with any kind of soap. Lay flat to dry. Iron while still damp to give it a lovely sheen. Separately, you can steam iron it on a low-ish setting to refresh it from time to time without washing. This also gives it a lovely sheen.
Dimensions: 18.5" wide x 77" long. This is what we call a "small shawl" which is slightly longer and wider than our scarves, but not as wide as our "large shawls". Both small and large shawls are about the same length though. Some people wear our small shawls as bunchy scarves, and others prefer to wear them as a shawl wrapped around the shoulders.