So, I had always intended to help people around the world with microloans through an organization like Kiva. But as happens with many good intentions, I never did it. Well I did now. I came across Kiva and saw they are encouraging microloaning to female entrepreneurs right now, in a campaign for International Women’s Day. For only $25, you can help make a difference in a family’s life.
I decided to see if any women were doing the things I like to do, as the path to feed their families and educate their children. I browsed the Arts lending category at Kiva, and found women in Samoa who make fabric! It’s called Elei and they make it with paint, stencils and carved wood patterns! I contributed microloans ASAP. I hope the loans help make the business dreams of these women come true, for themselves and their families.
And that’s when I discovered the art of Elei fabric …
I learned that Elei fabric artisans often make stencils with old X-ray film. The stencil designs make wonderfully bold patterns, like these pillows from JO’LI Elei Designs:
From Samoa’s Elei Crafters & Events website, wouldn’t this tablecloth pattern mix wonderfully with today’s popular bohemian/tropic/jungalicious style?
And oh goodness, if you want to see more pattern deliciousness, click through to A’au-Elei and see more, much more, like this:
A series of photos on Flickr shows you some of the process, from a fabric printing workshop at the Museum of Samoa:
The Gift Hutt’s catalog of resort wear on Slideshare gives you an idea of the pretty and very “vacationy” caftans and dresses that can be made with Elei fabric and patterns:
And now, I’m itching so bad to jump on an airplane for a tropical vacation on a Pacific Island. Of course I would come back with a suitcase loaded with Elei fabrics!