Madagascar

Even though Madagascar is a country great in beauty and natural resources, its people live in extreme poverty in rural areas. The women who live in these remote villages, however, possess an amazing skill handed down from their ancestors.  Weaving wild silk is part of their culture and fabric of their lives.  

With no electricity or running water they are still able to produce a product that is extraordinarily beautiful and of amazing quality.  Unfortunately, these incredible weavers have no market for their goods.  It is for this reason that Eternal Threads began our project in Madagascar in March 2008.

Our partner, Mirana Abraham, works tirelessly with Eternal Threads to give these women hope for their future and that of their families. She herself is an expert in the weaving craft that is so much a part of Malagasy life.

The Malagasy people have traditionally hand-loomed beautiful silk cloth for generations.  Originally, these garments were used for traditional ceremonies and rights of passage in their village cultures.  The process of making the stunning shawls, throws and scarves is quite time consuming.  First, wild silk cocoons are gathered from the forest.  The women carefully pick silk from the cocoons and combine it into larger quantities to be boiled and washed.  After the silk is cleaned, it is dried and then spun by hand into thread.  It is then dyed using either natural dyes from berries, bark, leaves, and roots, or using synthetic dyes.  Finally, it is spun into thread and made into beautiful cloth on hand looms.  It is a process that takes time, effort and attention to detail. The shawls and scarves can be purchased from Eternal Threads, one of the few providers of these exquisite items in the U.S. This project keeps an age-old tradition alive in Malagasy villages, while also providing a desperately needed income to families in poverty.

Eternal Threads now provides income to 144 families in 5 villages. With profits from the sale of the weavings, Eternal Threads provides spinning wheels and solar lamps to the weavers.