Experimental Naturally Dyed Placemats

Since her childhood, Marie Alexandrine Rasoanantenaina has been an artisan, sewing children’s Bermuda shorts with scraps of leftover fabric from her grandmother's seamstress business. She started her own business selling her handmade clothing door-to-door in the rural highlands commune of Alasora, Madagascar.

In 1988, the business started growing when she hired an employee to help with sewing and embroidery. Since then, Marie and her growing team of seamstresses have experimented with Madagascar's vast natural resources, creating natural dyes out of bark, leaves, and fruit pits.

Marie Alexandrine Rasoanantenaina and local seamstresses dying vetiver grass

Credit: Tahiana Creation https://tahianacreation.mg/?page_id=62


The base of many of their creations is the vétiver root, an aromatic grass that grows abundantly in Madagascar and is traditionally used by the Malagasy people for roofing. Marie combines traditional weaving techniques with modern aesthetics to design her vétiver placemats, and carefully preserves the sweet aroma of the vétiver root.

The grass is grown and harvested by the men in the region, and then woven by the women. Marie further supports seamstresses in the region by providing training workshops to foster their marketing and business skills.

Vétiver PlacematsTable setting with vétiver placemats
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