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​Ta’na’na Silk Cocoon Baskets from Madagascar

​Ta’na’na Silk Cocoon Baskets from Madagascar

Posted by Mary Anne Wise on 28th Oct 2020

It’s a beautiful thing when exquisite craftsmanship, nature, conservation, utility and reliable livelihoods come together to create opportunities for marginalized communities. (And who can’t use a bit more beauty these days, huh?) So it is with Ta’na’na, an innovative artisan group from Madagascar who create no-kill silk baskets from silk worm cocoons. The women work with farmers to plant trees using special intercropping techniques; the trees provide food for the silk worms who produce the cocoons. Then the women harvest the cocoons, separating the cocoon’s linings and stitching them together to form sturdy sheets. Next, using natural dyes they dye patterns on the sheets; cut, shape and sew the basket’s form and finally apply a woven raffia trim. Voila! In reality, of course, it’s a complex process- but for now, let's marvel at their accomplishments.

Below: Ta’na’na members holding a sheet of the stitched cocoons.

Below: Antherina suraka silk worm and moth.

Below: Inspecting young trees; inspecting the harvested cocoons.


Below: The pliable yet surprisingly sturdy baskets are created from no-kill silk worm cocoons in an innovative process. Hand dyed with color-fast natural dyed patterns and a hand woven raffia trim stabilizes the lip. Approx 13" tall x 12" Shipped flat.