materials

hmong artisan hemp

It's our main and most special source, used as doll's skin. This textile is the heritage of minority Hmong people living in the mountainous area of Vietnam.

 Hemp fiber is one of the strongest and most durable of all-natural textile fibers. It is also naturally resistant to mold and ultraviolet light. The fiber's porous nature allows hemp to "breathe". Moreover, hemp does not exhaust the soil. Hemp plants shed their leaves all through the growing season, adding rich organic matter to the topsoil and helping it retain moisture. The roots anchor and protect the soil from runoff, building and preserving topsoil and subsoil structures similar to those of forests. 

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pure cotton

Besides the hemp, the inside of each doll is stuffed with the local cotton, planted by minority Giay and Muong farmers. They didn't use any chemical pesticides or fertilizers or even manual irrigation while cultivating the cotton.

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fabric scraps

The fashion industry stands the 2nd place in environmental pollution. Upcycling fabric scraps for doll clothing is the way we contribute to reducing unnecessary waste.

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craftsmanships

feet spinning

The yarns are made from the branches of hemp trees. After harvest, the skins of the branches will be peeled off into smaller pieces. These pieces will be hand pounded, linked together and soaked into water.

Next, the artisan spins them into raw yarns by a simple foot spinner.

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handloom weaving

This weaving loom has been handed down through many generations.

To weave hemp, 220 yarns will be hung up to be warped. Depending on the width that we seek (often from 28-40cm is best), we must adjust the tightness of the 220 yarns. With handwoven fabric, the smaller the width is, the tighter and more beautiful the quality of weaving is. This requires great dexterity and skill on the part of the artisan, who must control the loom. A width which is similar to the wingspan of the artisan is best, in order to allow the best control. 

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firewood ash bleaching

To bleach and soften the yarns naturally, the raw fabric is submerged in hot water with stove ash throughout a full night for the 1st time. The next morning, it will be hung to dry next to the river. The weather is a critical factor in the drying process. It must be a bright and sunny day in order to whiten and soften the fabric. This process will be repeated around 150 times. 

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Stone polishing

Finally, the hemp fabric will be rolled between a flat, polished stone and a roller to make the surface smooth and glossy. This step also makes the fabric softer. Stone rolling is an interesting and exhausting step. It can also be dangerous, as a single misstep can bring the stone crashing down on top of your feet.

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natural dyeing

In industrial dyeing, commonplace around the world, there is a toxic chemical substance named Formaldehyde. It is not only a possible cause of skin cancer for end-users, but it also harms the environment and pollutes the water when washing the process. Therefore, Natural Dyeing is chosen instead.

It is hard to plan for an exact color when dyeing fabric in this way, but all of the tones that it makes are naturally beautiful. It’s a privilege of Natural Dyeing.

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hand embroidering

The fashion industry stands the 2nd place in environmental pollution. Upcycling fabric scraps for doll clothing is the way we contribute to reducing unnecessary waste.

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local artisans

cu thi mi

She's an ethnic minority artisan, Hmong. She started to learn traditional craftsmanship from her mother-in-law when she was 13 years old. Now she is the leader of 14 women in her village making hemp crafts in Vietnam.

To preserve the hemp fabric crafting, she had to stand up against her husband. She determined not to become employed factory workers, or farmers selling only agriculture products--jobs which may pay better, but will inevitably end up with the extinction of traditional crafting processes.

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sam thi tinh

She's an ethnic minority artisan, Thái. She started to learn natural dyeing from her mother when she was 8-10 years old. She knew it would be her career since then.

In order to find a way to develop her family's business in her village, she moved to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and became a sales representative while still making crafts by herself.

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bui hanh nguyen

She's the founder of Touched.Studio. She was a womenswear designer.  After spending years learning Vietnamese textile craftsmanship, she understands it is her lifetime career. She loves creativity, children and social charity activities. Touched.Studio is born.

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nguyen minh trang

After having been through many different jobs, she finally finds joy and love in crafting. Every time doll is born by her own hands, she feels alive. That's the moment she knows making handmade dolls is her final destination. 

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