SWAZILAND based artisans who weave what they speak.
This all women team of artisans create with passion that is fueled by their individual empowerment. Founder Jenny Thorne has been involved in income generation projects since the 70’s, so establishing Gone Rural was the natural progression of Jenny’s vision to empower women in their communities.
Gone Rural has blossomed from a local women's empowerment project to a global leader in handcraft and design, using creativity to ignite social change, now powered by over 780 women.
Re-imagined traditional weaving techniques are used to create baskets that add flair, texture and a point of conversation to any space.
Many of the groups of women weavers are multi-generational, with intricate weaving skills passed down from mother to daughter. The women are constantly challenged with new patterns, shapes, and designs to weave making the finished product a beautiful piece of crafts(wo)manship.
The two methods used to create Gone Rural's products are the plaiting technique and the Lavumisa technique. Both of these traditional methods are unique to Swaziland, and have been passed on from generation to generation.
The plaiting technique, which has been used since Gone Rural's inception, is used to create some our most popular pieces, including placemats, coasters, and bread baskets. It involves using a dyed fibre, such as lutindzi, which is braided into long strands. These plaits are then woven, coiled, shaped, and sewn together to create a range of products.
The Lavumisa technique is a tighter, stitched weave where fibres are spun around bundles of a stiff grass called lukhasi and sewn together to create sturdy shapes. This method is only used by groups in the Lavumisa area of Swaziland, where weavers have mastered their craft over many generations.