Artisan Connect

Sara Garment Designers and Manufacturers

Date : 2010-02-15 02:12:41

DescriptionThrough her artisan workshops, Sara Abera preserves an endangered indigenous craft, empowers her workers, and offers a practical model for sustainable development in African industry. Weaving in rural Ethiopia has a very long tradition in which women spin the cotton and men do the weaving. All of her textiles are handmade in Ethiopia on traditional looms using a combination of meticulous knot counting and age-old ingenuity. Starting as a teenager in Addis Ababa where she studied pattern cutting, she moved on to a few design courses in Greece. This set her on an unconventional career path for an educated woman from Ethiopia's interior. Refusing help from her family, she created the foundations for her company with a single sewing machine and 14 Birr (less than $5) in her pocket, opening her doors in 1989. Following her organizational objectives — "to introduce the rest of the world to the rich heritage of indigenous weaving products combined with modern textiles," she has helped promote the work of otherwise anonymous shemane (weavers). She, and her many international clients, believe that the craftsmanship involved in creating traditional Ethiopian outfits deserve an international acclaim similar to the traditional Kimono of Japan.

Street Address



Name of InstitutionSara Garment Designers and Manufacturers




Type of ActivitySupport Institution

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