Bilum and Bilas

Heritage Bilum Piece S21010

$150.00

Our focus is creating beautiful products in an ethical way, whilst creating meaningful jobs. Our collaborative approach builds a channel for PNG artisans with traditional skills to access and participate in the creative arts industry and the global value chain.

Bilums are designed to be stretchy and expand to accommodate cargo, so we can not provide exact measurements. Each bilum is completely unique and one-of-a-kind, so every owner will forever be connected to its maker.

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Full Description

This authentic bilum originates from the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea. The string used to hand weave this beautiful piece is meticulously handcrafted from natural fibres produced using ancient processing techniques. The colours in the patterns are made from ‘ples dye’, traditional dyes made from local ingredients.

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IMPORTANT:
Due to the handmade process and traditional fibres used to create your piece, imperfections are normal and add to the charm of your piece. Some natural softening and colour change may occur over time.

CARING FOR YOUR BILUM

• DO NOT GET FIBRES WET

• Store your piece in a sealed box away from direct sunlight and humidity

• Take great care if wearing jewellery with your Bilum as fibres can easily catch

• Avoid contact with make-up, sunscreen, lotions, perfumes or hairspray

• Avoid contact with pale colour clothes as dyes used in your piece may not be colour fast

 

 

Additional information

Weight .500 kg
Country of Origin

Papua New Guinea

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Vendor Information

  • Store Name: Bilum and Bilas
  • Vendor: Jessica Cassell
  • Address: 11 Ocean View Road
    Freshwater New South Wales 2096
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true cost

$150.00 + $1.50 Tree Donation

Your Impact

Bilum & Bilas is a PNG-based social enterprise that supports female artisans to develop a wider market for their crafts and improve their livelihoods.

Problem

Many women in Papua New Guinea try to earn supplementary income to support their families by selling their traditional crafts such as bilas and bilums, but market access is limited to unpredictable local sales, making it hard to earn enough income to survive.

Ever since arriving in Madang, Papua New Guinea in 2008,  Jessica Cassell, Founder and Creative Director of Bilum & Bilas, has been passionate about bilums and the creativity, skill and knowledge that goes into the craft. Knowing the international demand for sustainable, natural products like bilums, yet observing the daily struggles of female artisans became the catalyst in her addressing market access. In 2014 Bilum & Bilas was started as an online bilum store focused on linking artisanal products to international buyers in an effort to generate better income for bilum weavers and artisans.

Over time, our small team discovered the complexities, expense and instability of the craft and bilum supply chain. The intricate craftsmanship, traditional processing and labour that goes into creating a bilum is what makes them so unique, but it also means they are challenging to produce at a scale that provides the artisans with a stable and equitable income.

Solution

Working closely together we developed a solution and the Bilum & Bilas accessory was born.

Our designs are inspired by the beauty and essence of the bilum, and retain the traditional weaving techniques and natural fibres, yet in microform. Creating intricate representations of bilum technique, streamlines the making process, enabling our small team to optimise production and create stable jobs for Papua New Guinean women with these unique skills.

Our approach enables us to employ female artisans to design, develop and handcraft collections providing guaranteed income and a safe and secure work environment. Artisans receive training in fashion trends and international quality standards, supporting them to produce more competitive designs to build a sustainable business.