Archive | May, 2015

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17 Tiger Leaping Gorge

We had reached the end of our Journey. Our search for the feature fabric to use in our upcoming collection was found in the quaint little town of Zhoucheng. And what better way to celebrate than to go on a 2 day hike down and up a gorge! In 1 month, this has been our […]

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16 Zhoumulang and the Yi minority

Our hostel owner, Mr B, take us to Zhoumulang, a mountain village, to visit the Yi people. When referring to the Yi as a minority, again that is only in relation to the Chinese population. There are more than 8 million Yi people in Asia and over 4.5 million live in Yunnan province. Although most […]

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Rummage Magazine | Weaving a Bright Future among Ancient Cultures

This article was published in the Inaugural issue of Rummage Magazine and can be purchased here.  Words by Sally Westlake Imagine our world as woven. Threads from yesterday lay the colours for today, setting the patterns for tomorrow. The colours and patterns we spend our days in enrich our lives, as we express ourselves as […]

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15 Ancient streets of Weishan

Weishan is an ancient town, not just in history but in demographic. The old town was founded in the Ming Dynasty almost 700 years ago, the Gongchen building a preserved relic of the era. The buildings were constructed with clay bricks reinforced by hay with green tiled slope roofs. We walked past the shopfronts of […]

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Startup Creative | Empowering Cultures through Fashion

This interview was first published in the Startup Creative blog and can be viewed here. Interview by By Jess Mackay What do you get when you put a qualified engineer and a passionate fashion student on a bus in the middle of South America?This is not the introduction to a joke, this is Wolftress; a dynamic […]

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14 Zhoucheng and our priceless find!!!

The convoy of fabric hunters set out in the glorious Dali sunshine, our guesthouse owner (Chris from Dragonfly guesthouse – best hostel in Yunnan!) proving to be an invaluable asset as tour guide, interpreter, historian, and negotiator. We noticed marble shapers on the road leaving the old town and were advised that Dali was the main […]

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13 Sanctuary found in Dali

In Yunnan, we saw a different China to what the stereotypes suggest. The pollution, the crowds, the high rise buildings were left behind. As the ancient Chinese proverb says, ‘the mountains are high and the emperor is far’. That evening we arrived in Dali. The new town was another intimidating high rise cityscape, however our […]

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12 A new beginning with Yunnan

Waking on a hard bed and squat toilet was comforting in its humble, Spartan nature. It confirmed in my mind that we were on the road. Mist and darkness surrounded the train as we passed through mountains and mountain tunnels and mountains again. Groups of single men alighted at mining towns which gave way to […]

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11 Guilin and the end of our search in Guizhou

Poor communication. Poor tourism. Wanting to get to Guilin. Advised to take a bus to a city 3 hours away so we could take an express train to Guilin. When we arrived the trains were booked for 4 days. Then had to take a bus for 4 hours stay overnight and start again the next […]

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10 Anshun and our final attempt to find Batik

Anshun was supposed to be a centre for Batik designs however our arrival in the centre of town did not immediately reveal a thriving Batik trade like the travel blogs suggested. Throughout our trip in China our efforts to communicate were hampered by a language and alphabet barrier. What made this barrier even more difficult […]

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09 Matang Village and what’s left of Batik

After searching for Guizhou batik in Kaili, we headed to Matang village with Billie (our Miao expert). This is where Batik is in abundance he says. Matang is 400 years old. 125 families live there. Families can move away from the village but new families can’t move in. The people don’t think of themselves as […]

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08 Kaili and the continued search for batik

Funny how cities possess vibrations that people can pick up on. Or maybe, we are attributing these cities with our own moods in an act of personification. Either way Kaili sat well with us. The air was fresher, the city felt less claustrophobic. We were instantly assisted by an 18 year old who accompanied us […]

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07 Shitouzhai – A ghost town

Shitouzhai felt like a recreation of an ancient village for tourists that had since been abandoned. The infrastructure to host a thousand tourists was there, but the parking lots were empty. Statues of Buyi women performing tasks associated with Batik textiles lined the river, but there were no Buyi fabrics on display and no women […]

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