Thursday, May 10, 2018

Field Trip: Maiwa Supply

     Now I really don't want to sound like a broken record when I say there are things about living in Vancouver that I really miss- loads that I don't - but a few things living in a big city provides that just don't exist in a smaller place! One such place is the Pandora's box called Maiwa Supply- a veritable treasure trove for a textile artist or even just someone looking for a little inspiration. Maiwa is what I consider to be ground zero to the slow fashion movement- with 30 years of experience in supplying natural dyes and organic fabrics.

    Maiwa is a family run business and you can feel that the moment you walk through the doors- they aren't in the business of just selling cloth but in the business of creating memories and some of my strongest Vancouver memories are tied to the little shop across from the bakery. My first visit to Maiwa  was in the early 2000s- fresh to the city Granville Island was my home base. I was working on the island and had heard the buzz- people told me "you just have to go" and I'm so happy I did! Walking into the store was like nothing I had experienced before- the store just resonated with me deep in my core- I didn't know how to use any of these lovely things but I wanted to learn!

      Maiwa was the place I went when I became obsessed with crochet- back then they had a small selection of naturally dyed yarns- I heard words like Madder and Indigo for the first time outside of art supplies. Maiwa was the place I went when I was pregnant with my first child and wanted to sew baby clothes- choosing from the soft block printed fabrics I knew my baby was wrapped in something special. And Maiwa was the first place I ever heard the words Slow Fashion- learning the difference between industrial cotton and organic cotton. Where I really and truly began my own textile education.

     I truly miss the days of realizing I need something for a project and having this resource just down the road. Their staff are amazing and always so helpful trouble shooting or filling in the gaps in my natural dye knowledge. While Maiwa does have a pretty great website there really is nothing quite like ducking through those blue doors to touch and feel everything on their shelves. This store really is a part of the fabric of my life!

P.S. bucket list- one of the immersive Maiwa trips to India- who wants to come with?

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