Posts in : Gifts from Thailand

  • Oct

    Get Something Unique with Traditional Hmong Designs

    by FreeTradeAndUniqueProducts
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    1-traditional-hmong-designsIf you would like to have a backpack or a bag that really stands out from the crowd, it may be a good idea to get one that is made by the people in Thailand. There are many different types of purses and bags that you can get online that are made and distributed through free trade. These are unique and beautiful items that are truly something special.

    When you are looking at a bag or a backpack, you’ll be sure to enjoy taking the time to check out the bright colors and attractive style of these different types of bags. You can find many that are made in traditional Hmong designs which look absolutely wonderful and are very attractive on the whole. The bags are created with a lot more love and care than any bag you buy from a big name brand.

    Going out with one of these bags in tow is sure to get many people’s heads to turn. They are so individual and unique that many people will want to talk about the bag with you just because they’ll want to know the story behind it. The bright colors and designs will delight you every time you use your new purse!

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  • Aug

    Colors and Patterns

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    There is something really magical about bright colors put together in intricate patterns and designs. The Hmong people of Thailand are known for their embroidery skills and their flair with patterns and colors. This bag, hand-crafted in Thailand, is an amazing example of traditional Hmong design with a modern twist. This bag is meant to be noticed; with its bright colors, fun patterns and leather fringe. This beautiful bag is also available in a stunning black and white pattern.

    Here is a little bit about our artisans: Drawing upon the master craft-making techniques that have been a part of their culture for generations, our artisans skillfully handcraft these beautiful pieces individually, combining contemporary designs with ancient traditions. In Thailand, we work with about 25 artisans, mostly of Hmong heritage located outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. This village industry provides families an opportunity to maintain the tradition of handcrafting while sharing an expression of their indigenous culture with the world. By respecting cultural tradition, creating a cooperative working atmosphere, and paying sustainable wages, these women and their families have become empowered with new skills and have an opportunity for economic stability.

    Beautiful fringe purse from Thailand

    Colorful fringe purse from Thailand

    Black and white fringed purse from Thailand.

    Black and white fringed purse from Thailand.

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  • Nov

    Stylish and Cozy

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    What is the history of the scarf? There are reports of types of scarves being worn as early as 1350BC. Evidence has shown incidences of scarves in ancient Rome, China and Egypt. Scarves have been used for many purposes other than as a fashion statement, including representing military rank, status in society and for practical uses. By the 1900’s the scarf was solidly placed in fashion history as a very versatile and stylish accessory. Many of us have our favorite; the soft one that keeps us warm; the silk one we wear on special occasions and even the outrageous hot pink leopard print one we bring out when we are feeling crazy.

    Now we are entering winter and in most parts of the country we are beginning to feel the chill in the air. Unless you happen to live in Southern California, where we are in desperate need of rain but seem to just have Santa Ana winds and red flag warnings. But even in Southern California, we love our scarves.

    Most of our scarves come from artisans in Thailand and are made from soft acrylic yarn or beautiful silk.  These fair trade products will become treasured additions to your wardrobe.

    Blue acrylic scarf from Thailand

    Soft and cozy acrylic scarf from Thailand

    Soft and Stylish!  This beautifully hand-woven acrylic scarf from Thailand will be one of your favorites.  It is so soft and comfortable that you will never want to take it off.  The lovely blue color will enhance your wardrobe and can be worn with casual jeans or a for a more formal occasion.  You will love the softness and will appreciate the quality! This scarf measures approximately 70″ long and 13″ wide.

    This scarf in made in Klum Doi Tao, located in the hills of rural northwestern Thailand. The local area is inhabited by both Karen and Tai peoples who traditionally work side by side in cooperative efforts. Being primarily farmers, the villagers grow their own cotton, and produce and mix their own natural dyes. By developing their time-honored farming and weaving skills, they naturally constitute a sustainable and eco-friendly enterprise.

    Hand-woven silk scarf from Thailand

    Museum quality silk scarf from Thailand

    This museum quality hand-woven silk scarf is incredibly beautiful.  The intricate design is created by very talented artisans of eastern Thailand. This scarf is more than an accessory, it is truly a work of art. Treat yourself or a loved one to this lovely and unique silk scarf. This hand-crafted scarf measures 70″ long x 16″ wide with the decorative weaving measuring approximately 9″ on either end of the scarf.

    These beautiful silk scarves are produced by the Ban Napho Weaving Group, a women’s cooperative in Isan, Eastern Thailand. The group, which produces the most spectacular silk fabrics, is consistently recognized and featured in Thai Government sponsored programs that support rural enterprises. The villagers routinely experiment with dyeing techniques and weaving methods to create unique, original and stylish silk scarves and shawls that can be worn to all occasions, including casual wear, formal evening wear, weddings, and proms. The villagers conduct the entire process of feeding silk worms the mulberry leaves, collecting the cocoons, unraveling the silk thread, dyeing the silk, creating the designs, and hand weaving the textiles.

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  • Aug

    Traditional Hmong Designs

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    Large thai purse with gold circular design

    Beautiful Thai purse

    What do you look for in a purse? Something unique, something colorful or something useful with lots of pockets? We all have had that one purse that we love; that purse that is more than utilitarian but brings a smile to our face every time we use it. One of the most beautiful purses in our collection comes all the way from Thailand. The traditional Hmong designs used to create this purse are amazing. If you are looking for something that has a “wow” factor you have come to the right place!

    The talented Hmong people are known for their embroidery and this large handbag is an excellent example. The intricate gold circular designs make this handbag incredibly impressive. Simply beautiful! This purse measures a generous 19″ x 12″ x 5″ and has two braided 20″ handles with a 10″ drop.

    The word Hmong means “Human Being” or “Free People” in the Hmong language.  Hmong history is complex. They are reported to originate from Siberia and their emergence dates back thousands of years. Over the centuries they migrated south so that today they are dispersed throughout the highlands of southern China and northern Southeast Asia, including in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. There they live primarily as self-sufficient farmers and gatherers. The Hmong greatly respect their elders and ancestors. Traditional gender roles are common. Large extended families live together. They tell each other ancient stories and poetry. Women create beautiful clothing and quilts and every square is handmade by a Hmong hill tribe woman mainly living in the remote hills of northern Thailand and Laos using the reverse applique quilting method. The designs are traditional symbols for love, longevity, and life. In the majority of cases, the artisans’ incomes are based mainly on agriculture. Income from handicrafts normally provides supplementary income for the artisans and their families.


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  • Aug

    World Elephant Day!

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    World Elephant Day has arrived! On August 12, 2012 the first World Elephant Day was launched to draw attention to the plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures all over the world, yet we are dangerously close to losing this magnificent animal forever. Since 2012, strides have been made to educate people about the escalation of poaching, habitat loss and elephant mistreatment in captivity. On this special day, we need to celebrate the elephant and learn about ways to help protect these beautiful animals. Graydon Carter, Editor of Vanity Fair says it well: “We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.” Here are some sobering facts:

    • The Asian Elephant is considered endangered with less than 40,000 remaining worldwide
    • The African Elephant is considered threatened with less than 400,000 remaining worldwide
    • The Asian and African elephant are two different species and while they are similar in physiology, they are too biologically different to interbreed
    • 2013 saw the greatest quantity of ivory confiscated in the last 25 years
    • The main market for illegal ivory is China, where a single tusk can fetch $100,000-$200,000
    • Asian elephants range in 14 countries. In the past 50 years, the Asian elephant range has shrunk by over 70%
    • In Asia, there are approximately 70,000 people to 1 elephant across their range
    • There were over 100,000 elephants in Thailand at the beginning of last century. There are less than 4000 today.
    • One out of every three Asian elephants left in the world is a captive animal

    Here are some positive things you can do:

    • Support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products
    • Support organizations that are protecting wild elephant habitat
    • Do not support organizations that exploit or abuse elephants and other animals for entertainment and profit
    • Support healthy, alternative, sustainable livelihoods for people who have traditionally relied on elephants
    • Do not buy ivory or other wildlife products
    • Be aware of elephant habitat – do not buy coffee that is not fair-trade or shade-grown, nor products with palm oil. These commercial crops are grown in plantations that have decimated elephant habitats.
    • Educate people about elephants
    • Use your love of elephants and World Elephant Day, August 12, to start a conversation with the next person you meet.

    To celebrate the magnificent elephant, is proud to spotlight our beautiful collection of elephant themed products featuring our stunning Kate Mesta elephant necklace. You might also enjoy the cute zipper pull from Thailand or the beaded elephant keychain from Guatemala.

    elephant day2

    Elephant Collection

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