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May 2021 Update on Maiwa Foundation

& New Pay What you Want Tea Towel Pattern called “Inspiration from a Sari”

Maiwa Foundation logo

As the news spreads of the disastrous toll that Covid is having on India – we know that Maiwa needs our support even more. Please read this brief update by Charllotte Kwon – the founder of Maiwa.

The majority of the artisans that we work with have been able to live in their small village communities, following COVID-19 safe practices, and at the moment, they are well and are able to continue working at their particular craft. 

However, one of the groups has required crisis assistance – that is Jawaja, the leatherworkers and weavers.  All the money raised from Jane Stafford Textiles has been used to support this entire village.  The commercial branch of Maiwa, is finally in the position to donate $10,000 to the Maiwa Foundation.  

In Canada, when the pandemic first started, the Canadian government offered something called the “Canada Emergency Response Benefit” or CERB as we all call it. The Maiwa Foundation has been able to offer its own form of CERB to Jawaja – with a huge thanks to Jane and her weavers.  With lockdowns and restricted international travel, this group (The Artisans Alliance of Jawaja) could not sell their goods through their normal channels in India – via craft fairs, where their work is sold through craft alliances and in airport boutiques.  Maiwa has been unable to find ways to sell their work at the same rate we did before COVID-19.  The Maiwa Foundation stepped in and, for the first time in our history, provided funding for basic living expenses to an entire group of artisans.  We are actively looking for ways to turn this situation around and are hopefully optimistic that it can be done, but it will take more time.   We need to do what we can to help them keep this “CERB” funding in place for at least one more year. 

In addition, Maiwa has just started to fund the Jiwaja group and all the artisans we work with by paying for their two vaccine doses.  We realized that they were waiting for the free vaccines but because of caste, religion or status, they have not yet been made available to them. The Maiwa Foundation Vaccine Program is just starting but is being hugely appreciated.  

Inspiration From a Sari

The warp colours for the Inspiration From a Sari warp come straight out of the muted colour gamp from my Colour and Design workshop. When I presented that project to the Online Guild, I wove the bright saturated colours from a sample called Parrot on top. That took me straight to India where I had noticed that muted warps with brilliant wefts were extremely successful, and if you threw in peacock you get iridescence. The first towels on this warp follow the concept of weaving a gamp, working the colours across the warp from one side to the other. After the first 3 towels were done, I broke out those Parrot colours and that is when I really started to have fun. They are my favourites, bright happy and intended to make you smile.

The colours of India will inspire my weaving forever and I hope they inspire you too 🙂

All proceeds from this pattern will be donated to the Maiwa Foundation to support their work with artisans of Jiwaja in India during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can also purchase the Inspiration From a Sari Kit with the pattern draft and all the yarn you need to weave 12 towels!

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Maiwa Fundraiser

All proceeds from the Pay What You Want patterns will be donated directly to the Maiwa Foundation.

I also want to take a minute to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the support you have already given.  JST was able to send another $10,000.00 to the Maiwa Foundation in April from the continued sales of these patterns and in particular our last pattern so generously designed and donated by Sharon Broadley. 
Please feel free to share this post with anyone you think might be interested in helping our dear artisan friends.  xoxo Jane

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