Author Rebekah Rapp
Jewelry made by Sapa Designs are far away from the glinting and tinkling pieces of metal. These uniques Vietnamese textile jewelry emanate an aroma of culture and tradition inspired by nature! Delve into the article to be moved and inspired by the designer Rebekah Rapp.
Sapa Designs provides unique styles and designs enriched by tradition and culture. They encourage purposeful purchasing by providing innovative jewelry designs with meaning that are made by hand and tell a story. A part of you comes alive when you put on a piece of their jewelry. Traditional techniques and generations of cultural expression are at their core which makes these pieces all the more enticing!
Sapa Designs officially launched in January 2019 after designer from the States, Rebekah Rapp, traveled to Northern Vietnam to collaborate with artisans on designing one-of-a-kind pieces that focus on sustaining traditional and cultural technique. Sapa Designs aims to preserve the beauty of traditional textiles by paying the artisans a fair price for their work, providing a sustainable and flexible income for all artisans involved, and educating customers on responsible purchasing.
A Step In The Right Direction
Originally, in Northern Vietnam, all dyes were plant-based when producing textiles until they had to catch up to modern age demands. That is when some of the artisans started using chemical dyes and sewing machines. This is something Sapa Designs hopes to change in the future by supporting artisans and paying them a fair price for their time while preserving traditional technique. Now, their artisans use 100% organic cotton, hemp, and indigo dye for the production of their jewelry resulting in better quality pieces and minimal impact on the earth.
“One design may represent how many rice terraces a family owns,
while another symbol represents the family”
The Indigenous Practice
The indigo used for dying is homegrown by the artisans and their tribes who then turn the green leaves into brilliant blue dye through fermentation. All of their artisan’s batik is handmade with organic beeswax and all natural indigo. They do not use machines to sew. Because embroidery is done entirely by hand, each piece has a personal touch.
Batik: The Wax Resist Dyeing
Batik is a saved dye technique. Part of the fabric is protected by wax during the dyeing process which creates a unique pattern. Geometric patterns and symbols are drawn on to the fabric with melted wax and a variety of handmade bamboo and copper tools. After the wax dries, the fabric is dyed several times in a natural indigo bath to receive the rich deep blue color. The fabric is then immersed in boiling water to melt the wax and the beautiful pattern appears. The patterns appear as a light color against a rich indigo background.
“The indigo used for dying is homegrown by the artisans
and their tribes who then turn the green leaves
into brilliant blue dye through fermentation. “
Penny Wise Pound Foolish
This is food for thought! If you purchase less at higher quality that will last longer, in the long run, it may actually be cheaper. Ideally, the people who make the products get paid more and the quality of the product is higher. You pay for what you support. We have an opportunity as customers and consumers to not only meet our own needs with purchases but to have an impact on the world.