It can sometimes seem as if Chiang Mai is awash with bamboo baskets! You can find them at local markets, the Chiang Mai walking street and the Night Bazaar. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are made with materials ranging from bamboo, rattan, grasses and even plastic. So how can you tell that a basket is woven by a Sop Moei Arts artisan? Does it make a difference?
Firstly, here at Sop Moei Arts we are dedicated to working with disadvantaged local artisans in Sop Moei district who rely on us to help market their products. This includes ensuring a fair wage for all basket weavers. Secondly, great pains are taken to ensure that only the best raw materials are used in the weaving of a basket. We grow much of the bamboo ourselves, in order to maintain a sustainable supply of raw materials. We also use the hard outer layer of the bamboo in our baskets, which makes them much more durable compared to many of the baskets that you will find in the market. Often our baskets are woven in double layers; this increases their stability and helps to maintain the shape. Finally, before leaving the mountains our baskets are smoked for several days or even weeks in our smoke-house, a process which acts as a natural fumigation as well as adding patina. Rigorous quality control also ensures that you will find only the very best baskets when you step into our Chiang Mai and Bangkok shops.
Still not sure how to tell if your basket was purchased at Sop Moei Arts? There’s another easy way! Simply turn it over to see if our wildcat logo has been branded into the wooden base of the basket. As of 2011 most of our baskets have this logo on them to make identification easier. We hope that you will enjoy our baskets, just as we enjoy the process of creating them and making sure that they are of the highest possible quality.