Heritage textiles carry rich stories of cultural history. While many ethnic minorities don't have a written format of their languages, for generations they have been creating motifs into their costumes to tell the ancestors' stories. With the trend of people leaving their traditional textile crafts, many cultures are quickly disappearing.
Sharon Tsang-de Lyster, Founder of design studio Narrative Made, who champions sustainable practices and heritage crafts, believes in order for artisanal businesses to be sustainable, they need to have the resources and networking platforms to promote such practices.
In 2017, Narrative Made launched The Textile Atlas, an online resource platform promoting disappearing Asian textile crafts in commercial, academic and public arenas. The Textile Atlas is a response to the fast-disappearing relationship between design and culture. It preserves a record of traditional textiles, maker's profiles, creative processes, and cultural stories from 18+ countries.
The platform is the first of its kind to map out artisans across the Asia region, giving access to international designers who wish to create social impact. Its featured stories are grounded by field trips and thorough research from a network of specialists, sharing years of expert knowledge on topics such as design enterprise, heritage preservation, sustainable production, poverty alleviation, and social development.