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apihappi – hand loomed fabrics from sri lanka

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Recently I was contacted by a company called ApiHappi regarding a review of their hand woven fabrics. Founded by partners Aparna and Etosha, ApiHappi is a new creative endeavor that provides jobs for underprivileged women in Sri Lanka by teaching them to weave fabric on a handloom. Handloomed fabrics are unique because the looms are operated entirely by human energy, and you can see that hand made touch in each piece of cloth.

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ApiHappi got started by making drawstring “stringy” bags out of their handloomed fabrics which led to a program to provide backpacks to children in rural, poverty stricken areas of Sri Lanka. Aparna has a beautiful selection of bags to choose from on the ApiHappi website, but the product I’m here to talk about today is handloomed yardage that you can now buy for your own sewing projects!

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Here are just a few of the fabric options now available on ApiHappi.

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The fabric is standard width and has the weight/durability of a canvas but with a bit of give to it. It’s woven with hand dyed cotton threads which are sourced from another small artisan in Sri Lanka. The nature of this type of weaving makes for a beautiful solid colored fabric at first glance, but upon closer inspection you can see the different colors of each individual thread. It ads so much depth and texture to the fabric! This particular color is called Beluga Blue.

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The fabric has a selvage just like you’d see on store bought yardage but definitely has a rustic, old world sort of overall appearance. I used my serger to finish the top and bottom edges and then threw the fabric in the washing machine to see how it would hold up. It came out just fine (even after a good tumble dry) and softened up nicely. I found the fabric surprisingly easy to sew with, and my machine handled the thickness really well.

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I made two simple throw pillows (well, three if you count the one I made with my own fabric design) and I love the way they turned out. A throw pillow was my unimaginative choice to test drive the fabric, but you could use ApiHappi yardage for almost any Home Dec project including table runners, place mats, roman shades, etc. Utility bags, beach bags, and tote bags are also perfect projects to pair with this fabric. They even have a fabric estimator to help you decide how much you’ll need.

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(Lucille was my creative director for today’s post. The colors in her collar just happened to match my photoshoot perfectly 😉 She’s doing well after her surgery but I’ll have a real update on that later!)

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Though I didn’t immediately think of garment sewing when first handling the fabric, I bet it would work well for a pair of shorts or jacket (especially in those beautiful stripes!). I have a little bit of the fabric leftover that I’m going to experiment with and report back. All in all it’s been a real pleasure to get to know more about ApiHappi and their mission to support creativity and community, and now I have two beautiful handloomed throw pillows to enjoy.

What kinds of things would you sew with a beautiful fabric (handloomed with love!) all the way from Sri Lanka?

xo
Rochelle

*I was provided with the fabric and bag in exchange for this product review. All views expressed are my own. Photos by me.

  • misscrayolacreepy

    Oh man, this fabric would be so perfect for a tote!

  • Beautiful! I think a jacket would be quite nice. I have several vintage summer garment made from fabric like this and I never wear them because the fabric is just a little too thick. It does no good to have your arms uncovered and then wear lightweight canvas over the rest of you.
    Lucille is looking very pretty! We looked at another pitty last week, but he got adopted out to someone else so we’re going to try when we get back from vacation.

  • What jumps out at me about these fabrics is the depth of their fabulous colours. The blues and teals in the fabrics you used for the (lovely!) pillows are bold and captivating and so-very-beautiful! This sounds like a wonderful company. Thank you very much for the introduction, honey.

    ♥ Jessica

  • Oh, they look so beautiful. The texture looks very nice. I am wondering if this fabric could work as a coat. Thank you for this, Rochelle.

  • The fabric looks wonderful and I’m so glad to hear Lucille is doing well! She probably deserves a little extra pampering 🙂

  • Those colors and prints are gorgeous – and I love the company’s model. I’m always on the lookout for companies with transparent supply chains and a social justice angle, so I’m definitely going to have to check these out!

  • I love the texture of handloom, it’s like you can feel the weavers fingers running over the surface. Wonderful to see a company bringing handlooms to sewers via the net.

  • Olivia

    They look lovely! Feminine, but not overly feminine. 🙂 Rochelle, I have a question for you. Where do you buy your sewing patterns for clothing? I’m very curious. 🙂 Also, thanks for commenting back to me on the windmill shirt. 🙂

  • stgilbert

    How lovely!

  • How nice! They do look like great prints for accent pillows!