Hammock Art Cooperative
Hello, my name is Phranee and I am the appointed leader of our weavers cooperative. Our mission is to bring you the most advanced hammocks on the market. Our assets are a few boxes of yarn, and one single looom for each weaver, as well as superb skills acquired over the years, coupled with limitless enthusiasm, creativity, and determination!
First amongst equals!
Hello my name is Phranee, I am master hammock-maker and happy to present you with the best and most advanced hammocks on the market. My hammocks are unmatched in comfort, durability, beauty and in their sheer size.
I was born in Loei province but lived most of my life in North Thailand as housewife, factory worker, field labourer and doing traditional weaving.
It was in 2008 when I was employed as hammock weaver at the enterprise established in Thailand in 1988 by Peter Schmid, a Swiss textile engineer. I instantly liked this work very much and learned the basics very quickly. Impressioned by my enthusiasm, talent, and what he called "attitude", Peter gave me the opportunity to work as his assistant in technical development projects. I was involved in the creation of new hammock types, a new yarn dyeing process, unique weaving techniques, designing and many more. I also learned everything there was to know about making hammocks, and in 2012 after learning very hard for over 3 years I was promoted to master – hammockmaker.
In 2011 my boss Mr.Peter felt that he was getting tired and that it was time for him to retire. We decided that I would become leader of the weavers group, while Thai Tribal Craft would run the commercial part. For me this was an opportunity, but also a big challenge and the first year was marked by long days and long evenings of hard work trying to keep everything under control and organized, especially the financial part.
My teenage daughters have always watched me with interest and I have gently encouraged them to learn hammock weaving also. Nowadays they are helping me more and more with the daily production chores while I’m able to concentrate more on developing new idea’s and new products. Their dream is to one day lead our enterprise, and they are studying hard to get there.
My duty as group leader is to supply my weavers with orders and design sheets, make sure that there are enough raw materials and keep control over yarn use.
Once the hammocks are finished I do a strict quality control and then pay out the salaries. I’m also responsible for solving all technical problems small and big.
All our weavers work at home and are paid after completing each hammock, so they can work at their own convenience. Many are farmers and belong to the Khamu Tribe or the Thai Lue minority. Hammock-making provides an extra means of income for these economically-disadvantaged weavers during the off season.
I also travel frequently to the village of Thatorn to teach the local Lahu weavers working for Thai Tribal Crafts Fair Trade on how to make hammocks. I also assist them with all their technical problems.
Most of my hammocks are marketed by Thai Tribal Crafts Fair Trade Company (TTC) in Chiang Mai. TTC is a non-profit marketing organization by Thai tribal people for Thai tribal people, and is approved by the international Fair Trade association
Our hammocks are relatively new to Thailand as they were introduced by Peter Schmid only in 1988. Peter, a Swiss textile engineer, motorcycle tour guide, and adventurer, has lived in Thailand for more than 30 years . His story is long and full of twists and turns. Amongst others it included 10 years of working with and supporting the “stone age” Mlabri tribe through hammock-making. Over the years Peter developed 7 different types of hammocks, and created over 300 different colour designs. His aim has always been to create new works of art rather than imitating others.
I truly enjoy making hammocks and I think I can say the same about all of our weavers.- Which is why most of them have been with me for many years.
What started with a few rolls of yarn has today become a business selling thousands of hammocks every year, skillfully and artfully woven by over 50 weavers.
Every hammock you buy will bring many hours of relaxation for you and much needed employment for us!