It is becoming rare to see people use traditional clothing items and organic locally made products since ready-made garments and clothes are more favoured, and cheaper. In fact, there aren’t many places where you can buy locally made cotton products anymore.
Mori Burma is one of the few places that offer locally produced cotton products and naturally dyed fabrics. With the purpose of preserving and conserving the traditional loom industry of Indle and Kokkogyi villages in Budalin township in Sagaing region, Ms. Thiri Winn Maung established Mori Burma, which also helps in providing a daily income to local women at the villages.
Born and raised in the region herself, Thiri has always been interested in the traditional loom industry. In fact, she has only worn hand-loom pure cotton fabrics ever since she was allowed to wear her own dresses. She has seen quite a number of hand-loom and hand-spinning workshops around her native town and it gave her the idea to help local people by promoting local products with these organic products. That’s how she started her own business, Mori Burma, in 2017.
Raw materials that come from the cotton fields are traditionally planted by using organic methods before transforming them into good quality hank and skein. They are extracted from her hometown and it is not an easy task to balance the amount of raw materials extracted from the trees and the preservation of the natural environment.
“We have to be very careful with the raw materials. Whenever I remove the raw materials from the trunk of the tree, I only use 10% of them as a natural dye for the fabrics because of my desire to conserve the environment,” said Thiri.
She later continued talking about the natural dyeing process of the fabrics. “The natural dyeing process takes up a large space and a lot of time to prepare. Before weaving the yarn into fabric, it is necessary to apply the desired colour to the fabric and it also takes several steps to make the fabric ready to be knitted.”
The main products of Mori Burma are Organic Cotton and Natural Dye Fabric, Rusty Dye(Eco Dye) Fabric, Embroidery Design Clothes and Mud Cloth Designs.
“We especially make customized clothes. There are also handmade accessories, bed sheets, pillow cases, purses, etc.”
You can not only order any customized design of your choice, but also choose your favourite from at least four designs that Mori Burma produces every month, which are much cheaper compared to your own customized orders. The prices of Mori Burma’s products range from at least 40000 Ks to above 120000 Ks.
Thiri then explained about the caring instructions of fabrics. “When it comes to organic cotton and naturally dyed fabrics, please do not use heavy detergents and do not wash them in warm water. You can wear the clothes in the shade and regular clothes will glow when exposed to direct sunlight. And they do not need to be dry cleaned.”
Mori Burma is not only promoting and preserving the traditional loom industry of Myanmar. It is also helping local women in the region by giving job opportunities and creating a daily income. “It was a bit difficult at the start to sell these local fabrics in the market and create daily a income for them. However, I was able to overcome those difficulties because of those women and I am very proud of it.”
There are now about 20 local women working at Morri Burma, helping to turn the business into a success in the local market.
“To create these products of Mori Burma, we use raw materials in an environmentally friendly way and only produce as limited products, not as mass products. And we, Mori Burma, would like to invite each and everyone of you to buy from us since your every purchase can both help preserve this industry and help create daily income for local women.” Thiri stated.
For the time being, Mori Burma does not have a boutique shop and only has online service. So, visit its Facebook page and drop a message or give a call to them to buy beautiful, environmentally friendly, all handmade and detailed-oriented cotton clothing.