Interview with Lamorna Cheesman of Studio Naenna


Could you tell me a little bit about the inspiration behind Studio Naenna?

The inspiration behind Studio Naenna has evolved over the years but the main goal is to support and represent handloom weavers in the international market, and acknowledge the beauty and skill of their handmade items.

How did this project start and who are the Weavers of the Environment?

Studio Naenna was founded by Patricia Cheesman a renowned textile expert and author of Lao Tai textiles. Through her research Patricia connected with many weavers. She brought the weavers together to form the Weavers for the Environment group, with the aims to care for the environment and fair trade ethics for the weavers. This includes the use of Natural dyes, working with Safe synthetic dyes and uplifting the weavers to recognize the value of their craft.

Can you tell us about the weavers, their background and how they learned their skill?

The weavers that made these bags are Karen back strap loom weavers. They learned to weave from their Mothers and Aunties. The blue yarns are dyed with natural indigo and the off-white yarns are the raw colour of natural cotton.

Why is ethical fashion and production important to you and what do you want people to understand about this issue?

I think the production of all items we consume need to be ethical and environmentally conscientious. We are living in a world that is polluted and if we do not re think our ways of consumption and how we make things we will kill our own future. I am doing my part as best possible to make our textiles ethically and environmentally responsible.

Is there a better appreciation for slow fashion in Southeast Asia and why do you think this is?

I do not think that there is a better appreciation of slow fashion in Southeast Asia it is still considered something common, in that alot of people still know some connection to items being made by hand. Also there is a consistent temperature through out the year, so people do not have to dress according to season, they just add more layers for cold days.

In your opinion, what are some of the wonderful things about Thai culture that we can learn from in the western world? 

"Losing you temper does not get the job done!" “People will respect what you do if you show/ give them respect for the work they do”

What is the future of Studio Naenna?

Studio Naenna will continue to work with weavers and craft makers to improve their lives and spread the word of environmental aware production and sustainable business module.

Learn more about Studio Naenna in Chiang Mai, Thailand on their website.