Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hand Embroidery - Celebrate the Exceptional Stitch

We carry some of the finest hand embroidery being done today: bold, forceful, Banjara work, jewel-like pieces from tribal communities living in the Kachchh desert in Gujarat. This stitchwork maintains living traditions and is an expression of the strength and character of the women who make it.

As befits this exceptional work, we have set the embroidery into products meant to last a lifetime: bags from the Jawaja leatherworkers, pouches made up from strong quilted fabrics, and beautiful cushion covers.

No two pieces are same. See it in our online store or in the Main Maiwa Store on Granville Island.

Maiwa's commitment to embroidery and embroiderers goes deep.
In 2003 we published Through The Eye of a Needle: Stories from an Indian Desert to document the embroidery communities in Kachchh.

And in 2016, Maiwa authors Charllotte Kwon and Tim McLaughlin published Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe with Thames and Hudson.

Read more about embroidery cultures on our website

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Maiwa's Honest Yarn Undyed and Merchant & Mills

Maiwa's Honest Line celebrates products that speak for themselves. This is especially true of our undyed yarns. Traditional fibres wound into hanks that are satisfying to hold in your hand and roll through your fingers as you think about your next project.

See our line of Honest Yarns Undyed in store only at Maiwa Supply on Granville Island
7 days a week between 10am and 6pm (Winter Hours)

In 2010 Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field brought English bespoke traditions into the world of sewing patterns, scissors, and notions. Through their efforts an entirely new generation has embraced the idea that one can make their own clothes and have fun doing it. Everything about the line is finely tuned to the two words that Merchant and Mills use to defined themselves: Style and Purpose.

Visit Merchant & Mills in store at Maiwa Supply on Granville Island
7 days a week between 10am and 6pm (Winter Hours)
or online at

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Natural Dyes at Wholesale Prices

Natural. Honest. Colour.

Sizes from 30g up to 2.5 kg. Our large sizes are priced at wholesale rates so that all artisans can participate in the magic that natural dyes bring.

within Canada and the Continental U.S.A.


Colour is unlike anything else. As an artist, to make colour with natural dyes is to experience a direct connection with your materials. And each of these materials, each dyestuff used, can be a doorway to a new world.

Putting natural colour on cloth involves the use of leaves (such as indigo and henna), barks and woods (logwood, osage), roots (madder), flowers (chamomile, marigold), fruits and nuts (walnut, myrobalan, pomegranate), minerals (alum, iron), and insects (cochineal, lac). These are just some of the classic materials that have been used for thousands of years.

The aromatic steam that rises into the air from the dyepot, especially when working outside on a cool morning, is one of the most compelling aspects of the dyer’s studio. Indeed, working with natural colour is such a sensual experience that many artisans work with natural dyestuff for the sheer pleasure of making the vat. The saturated colours of the immersed materials are also highly photogenic—as is the entire dyeing process.

Maiwa’s obsession with natural dyes is well known. What is less well known is the work that we do behind the scenes each time a shipment of natural dyestuff arrives in our warehouse.

Our role is a bit like that of a master vintner who evaluates multiple grape harvests to make an exceptional wine. We do a complete set of sample tests to evaluate the shade and strength of our shipment. Dyes from natural sources will change with each season. If there has been only little rain one year, the concentration of dyestuff in the plant will alter. So we often combine and blend stocks from multiple years to ensure that the raw dyestuff will yield consistent results. 

At Maiwa our policy is to acquire the raw dyestuff in its most elemental form (wood chips, roots, petals) so that we can ensure purity. We then process it into the form (usually a powder) that works best for the artisan dyer. We use natural dyes extensively in our own production, so we can ensure that each package contains a product we would be proud to use ourselves.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Winter Whites at Maiwa

100% Cotton Hand-stitched Bedcovers.
A line of thread wanders a white fabric field ...
visit us on Granville Island and see
where a line of thread can lead you.

100% Cotton Handstitched Textiles
Use them as curtains, tablecloths, or bedcovers.

Visit Maiwa on Granville Island 7 days a week between 10am and 6pm (Winter Hours).

In the Maiwa Online Store, 
we have moved our favourite white shawls to the top of the section.

Looking to start with a winter white field of possibility?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Start A New Thread - Featured Workshops

Colour on yarn — it has motivated artisans for centuries. Yarns - especially wools - are extremely satisfying to dye. There is no feeling quite like dipping a hank of yarn into a dyepot and having them soak up colour.

This is a comprehensive workshop packed with project that explore dyeing, overdyeing, and direct application. Students leave with a complement of yarns dyed by their own hand ready to take into their next project. Read full description.

For the clothing designer, working from the block is an invaluable skill. Take your creativity up a notch with this pattern drafting workshop. Read full description.

Its all in the details. In this case the ages-old skill of hand-sewing. Be guided by an the experienced and energetic Sheila Wong and find out just how much the human hand can do.  Read full description.

Five full days with UK textile artist Michael Brennand-Wood. This workshop is designed for artists who what a creative mentoring experience. Well-known for his constructions and art installations, Michael Brennand-Wood is a experienced teacher who can lead and inspire students to focus on their own projects.  Read full description.

The garden might seem months away right now, but by May there will be plentiful growth, anxious to share its colour. This workshop will lead you through the art of creating colour from the plants that are close at hand.  Read full description.

Dyeing and sewing go hand-in-hand. In this creative workshop, students will dye quality linen fabric with indigo and then use the fabric dyed by their own hand to create finished projects. The best of both worlds. Read full description.

Some of the most powerful embroidery in the world comes from the tribal communities of India. Learn the stitch vocabulary and pattern techniques of the Banjara. You'll never think of needle and thread in quite the same way again. Read full description.

There are also one or more openings in these workshops.
We don't expect these spaces to last.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sale Begins January 22!



Visit Maiwa on Granville Island 7 days a week between 10am and 6pm (Winter Hours).



AT 20 - 80% OFF

We don't hold many sales at Maiwa.
This is a singular opportunity to add exquisite, artisan-made items to
your own collection — at reduced prices. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Find Comfort in Pattern



Ajrakh, Bagh, Kalamkari and Dabu Bedding

Created by master craftspeople in India
What the well-dressed beds of 2018 are wearing

Visit Maiwa's Full Bedding Collection

Available in-store and online


Ajrakh is the name of a cloth that has been blockprinted in the traditional method using natural dyes such as indigo, madder, and pomegranate. The ajrakh process is a long one, involving several steps of washing and scouring the cloth, then additional steps to mordant the cloth, and still more steps as each colour is either directly blockprinted or resist blockprinted with natural dyes. The order is of utmost importance as the layers of colour are built up and the traditional geometric ajrakh patterns emerge.

Visit the Ajrakh Collection

Learn About the Ajrakh Artisans


Bagh block printed bedding adds character and depth to any room. The patterning is a beautiful balance of figure and ground that allows motif and colour to sing together. Printed on 100% organic cotton using natural dyes and traditional techniques.

Visit the Bagh Collection

Learn about the Bagh Artisans


Maiwa’s kalamkari bedding is block printed by hand on 100% organic cotton using natural dyes. Floral motifs and geometric embellishments invoke the Persian influence found in traditional kalamkari. The bedding is a sumptuous combination of line and colour.

Visit the Kalamkari Collection

Learn About the Kalamkari Artisans


By taking advantage of the fine desert sand of Rajasthan, artisans are able to create a mud-resist known as “Dabu.” A cold-water resist, dabu is particularly effective for blocking out areas during an indigo bath. The character of dabu and the wooden blocks used to apply it, go together to create the distinctive patterns known as “dabu” prints.

Visit the Dabu Collection

Learn About the Dabu Artisans

Friday, January 12, 2018

Spring 2018 Featured Textile Workshops

Pure Substance - Unpredictable Pattern

Discover the wonder of rusts - oxides of copper and iron - to transform fabric with incredibly textured patterns. Sometime as gentle as a watercolour wash, sometimes as saturated as a pure burst of pigment. 
This ground-breaking workshop will lead students through a number of projects on silks, cottons, wool knit, and paper. Using contact printing, immersion dyeing, tannin, oxides and indigo, students will open up an entirely new world of working with materials and cloth. Read full description.


Dyeing for Knitters

Colour on yarn — it has motivated artisans for centuries. Yarns - especially wools - are extremely satisfying to dye. There is no feeling quite like dipping a hank of yarn into a dyepot and having them soak up colour. 

This is a comprehensive workshop packed with project that explore dyeing, overdyeing, and direct application. Students leave with a complement of yarns dyed by their own hand ready to take into their next project. Read full description.



Introduction to Dyes

Art is about colour. For creative textile artists that means learning to dye. Natalie Grambow's Introduction to Dyes is one of our most sought after workshop for people looking to understand how and why to use the wealth of dye types available. Natalie Grambow is one of our most experienced instructors and few can match the depth and breadth of her knowledge of textile techniques. Thinking about learning how to dye? This workshop is for you. Read full description.


Here is a complete list of courses with one or more openings.
We don't expect these spaces to last.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Maiwa's Natural Hair Dye and Mehndi Collection


A large part of Maiwa's 30 year history has been an in-depth study of natural dyes. As artisans we love them for so many reasons: a connection to tradition, a sensitivity to botany, and a deep appreciation of how colour is obtained from the natural world.

Now Maiwa is proud to offer its first range of 100% natural, organic hair dyes . Henna for skin and for hair, cassia for hair, and powdered green-leaf indigo for hair. These are a collection of natural colourants offering a range of colours. Let the beauty of natural dyes adorn you.

Henna has been used for over 6000 years to give copper reds and reddish browns to hair, skin, textiles, and leather. The active colouring component in henna is lawsone which is released when dried leaves are ground and a mild acid (lemon juice or vinegar) is added. The dye easily bonds with the proteins in hair and skin.

Cassia (also known as “neutral henna”) grows in East Africa and India where its powdered leaves have been used in the care and colour of hair for centuries. The golden yellow of cassia comes from the anthraquinone chrysophanol. Cassia will dye pale or gray hair a golden wheat colour, however, the colour is not as permanent as henna.

Indigo, the famous blue dye, has been used on textiles for thousands of years. It has also been used (usually combined with henna) on hair to achieve deep browns and blacks. King Darius (520 BC) is thought to have used it. For dyeing hair it is best to use the dried leaves directly—these are available as a finely ground, light-green powder. 


Maiwa Supply - Granville Island, Vancouver 7 days a week 10am-6pm (Winter Hours)
Maiwa East - 1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Online -