The making of our BASSAC bags is in the hands of the Khmu women living in northern Laos. The Khmu people is largest minority ethnic group of Laos.
100% natural kudzu vine, a climbing vine native to South East Asia. The Laotians have been using its fiber for generations, which is stretchy, light-weight and extremely strong.
Kudzu grows without cultivation, irrigation or chemicals in the jungles of northern Laos and it has always been used by local villagers for carrying crops, tools and stones.
A process of pure Craft:
To get the fiber from the vine, Khmu artisans scrape the inner bark found between the outside bark and the woody core.
Once this fiber is obtained, it must be dried, pounded, split into very thin strips and then twisted by hand, usually by rubbing it along a woman’s leg and then twisted again to join it into a continuous yarn. This yarn is then knotted into bags.
From vine to crafting, it takes about two weeks to create each piece.
Each one is done by hand, therefore no two bags are the same.
Respect for people:
The knowledge and skill used to make the kudzu bags has been passed down through Khmu generations. Working with them we help preserve the ancient Khmu craft and support their economic growth.
Respect for the planet:
Kudzu grows without cultivation, irrigation or chemicals in the jungle of northern Laos.
The materials used for dying are 100% natural and chemical-free, like turmeric, mud, yam or red onions.
Kudzu vine in the forest
Taking out the fiber
Kudzu yarn after twisting
Wild turmeric used to dye the fiber
Dyed fiber being drying
Natural dyed yarns
Khmu women at work