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F I V E | S I X T E X T I L E S
"Collapsing the borders between art, craft, and design, and elevating the genius of West African textile arts, Five | Six’s philosophy is rooted in the conversation between weaver, cloth, and design. We believe the most exceptional textiles come from the artisans who originated them. That’s why we partner directly with a collective of master weavers. Each textile is woven at the highest quality with natural materials that will last lifetimes. A nomadic product by nature, textiles are distinguished by their portability, allowing them to tell a story through their use. Collapsing the borders between art, craft, and design, this partnership celebrates the genius of West African textile arts.
West African textile design has always been collaborative, honoring the craft, the maker, and their culture. The Five | Six Textiles process is no different. Design begins with Dyula motifs - vintage and contemporary - found via the weaver’s archives and textile collections. The collaborative process begins where the artisans’ craft knowledge meets our design understanding. The artisans also share histories of the motifs, their names, and meanings behind their aesthetic appearance, adding context and meaning to the textiles and in so doing produce truly unique works of art."
"Five | Six Textiles began with a conversation. In 2014, Emma Wingfield, textile arts specialist, was traveling through Côte d’Ivoire studying the development of contemporary craftsmanship. During a meeting with the Weavers of Waraniéné, they expressed an interest in working with someone on product development and bringing their textiles to an international audience.
Upon returning to the USA, Emma enlisted the help of Laine Henry, a designer, and in 2016 founded Five | Six Textiles in partnership with 7 Master Weavers. Five | Six has grown in tandem with the weavers of Waraniéné ever since. Now partnering with 22 Master Weavers and 7 Tailors. We add to our group of Master Weavers, Tailors, and Dyers every year.
Five | Six transports impeccably handwoven textiles from this remote region into contemporary homes around the world. We are privileged to work with this small collective that values their own craft and culture. We are committed to supporting and studying the rich traditions of West African weaving and dying and honor the artists who are committed to making this craft their profession.
Our mission is to make exceptional textiles that preserve a rare weaving culture while simultaneously benefiting their community. We are dedicated to building a sustainable business with the artisans that facilitates a dialogue between the themselves locally and the global community. As an artisan-to-consumer brand, we spend time developing our model with Waraniéné rather than for Waraniéné. We pay fair wages that we define with our weavers based on the current sell rate of textiles locally and skill level. We invest an additional percentage of our annual net profits back into the community for supplies, health, education, and business development programs decided in conjunction with community leaders.
We hope Five | Six will help foster a world of responsible consumers. Each Five | Six Textile takes anywhere from 1-5 days to weave, meaning each piece is mindfully crafted and requires intentionality in decision making. Intentionality we hope extends to the person who purchases it and who cherishes a real understanding of how the things they buy are made and what that represents. Each impeccable piece is designed to enrich the space it inhabits, highlighting craftsmanship and sustainability."
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