Studio Naenna is a community of women weavers, embroiderers, designers and support staff based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, who comprise the women’s group “Weavers For the Environment” (WFE), bringing together craft makers from various ethnic groups to create high quality, environmentally friendly and sustainable products. We aim to encourage pride in traditional techniques and empower women within their villages. Patricia Cheesman, our founder, created a unique system of working that gives the weavers fair-trade returns for their skills as well as the freedom to plan their time to participate in village activities, thus preserving their traditional culture and communities. The designers in turn, have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the most skilled artists in their field to create internationally acclaimed textiles and garments.
Patricia Cheesman, renowned textile expert and author of “Lao Tai textiles : The Textiles of Xam Nuea and Muang Phuan” ( link to purchase book) founded Studio Naenna in 1988. Her love and passion for textiles led to years of research in the history and identification of indigenous crafts in Thailand and Laos. As Patricia traveled though the region she connected with weavers, starting strong friendships that have continued over the years. In 1985 she was invited to lecture at Chiang Mai University, and built the Main gallery and dye shop of Studio Naenna at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain, Chiang Mai, where she now calls home. Patricia invited weavers to come together and form the weaving group called “Weavers For the Environment” (WFE)
“Working together with respect for one another and the environment”
In 2001 Lamorna Cheesman, Chiang Mai Creative City Ambassador, became manager of Studio Naenna and has taken it to the next level. Passionate about sustainable fashion, Lamorna has learnt all the complex production techniques of Studio Naenna, studied fashion and pattern making and is leading us into a bright future by connecting us with environment-responsible buyers and designers worldwide.
Weavers of Chomtong
“I like the more complex ikat designs because they are challenging.”
Khun Buachan, also known as Mae Euay, is one of our senior weavers and sister-in-law to Khun Viroy. She was an experienced plain cotton weaver when she joined WFE and learned the art of silk ikat weaving from Khun Viroy. Working with weft ikat has allowed her to gain a better income for her weaving skills.
“I am older now and my body can no longer weave the wide width fabrics but I enjoy working on the narrow width making ikat
scarves and shawls in 100% silk and silk and cotton blends.”
Mae Sri is one of the most senior weavers of our group and mother-in-law of Nittaya. Mae Sri helps with the yarn preparation of winding from skein to large spool and weaves on a narrow silk warp making silk and cotton blend scarves. She also makes the fringes on each scarf, twisting each tassel by hand.
Nittaya is one of the main cotton weft-ikat fabric weavers.
Khun Lek is one of the youngest weavers in the WFE group. She weaves plain cotton fabric on a fly-shuttle loom but has also trained in weft ikat weaving and is building up her skills. Weaving from home, she can care for her grandparents and earn a good income from weaving.