Sisal Bags come directly from Machakos district- Kenya, about 70 miles south east of Nairobi, the country's capital. They are hand made by weavers using threads from the Sisal - a Mexican plant with large fleshy leaves.
The artisans of these bags are women of Kenya. These women spend most of their days working the farm, looking after their households, educating their children, looking after cattle, fetching water from the river, buying and cooking food for their families. But these women still find time to bring the art of hand weaving from the Kenyan Culture to life.
These Kenyan weavers begin by stripping the Sisal plant's outer layers, leaving the plant still able to grow. The weaver uses threads from the pale colored layers, that have dried out for a day, to make a bag. A design pattern is finalized. The weaver then boils the threads to be used with water and dye sets the bag's colors. Now the weaving begins. Two single threads are twined to form one strong thread. Many such threads are woven. It is from these threads that a sisal bag is made.
It takes between two to three weeks to complete a bag. Most weavers have to look after their households therefore, weaving is done whenever they have the time. But this is the way of life.
Thanks to the history of Kenyan weaving these women will not only support their families but bringing this little seen art to the US.
So despite a drought in Kenya comes a plant - the Sisal Plant that continues to grow and is used for life...and art.