Around the World with the Burden Cloth…

Carol founded Timeless Enterprises to make and sell the Burden Cloth with one goal—to make the Burden Cloth so commonplace that everyone knows what it is…and how useful. In pursuit of that goal, Carol sent manufacturing kits sent with friends working in different continents, each with a partially completed Burden Cloth, and a page about fabric choice, preparation, and so on. She succeeded in “seeding” these kits to Australia, Europe, South America, and Africa.

The Burden Cloth in Asia…

dog-bones
A gift of bones!

In the mid-1990s, Deb presented the Burden Cloth at her employer’s in-house holiday market, together with a few personal craft items. The employer in question was a large Silicon Valley manufacturing firm, with the usual diversity of global employees. And an engineer of Asian origin admired the Burden Cloth tools for sale there. After chatting for a little, he kindly told Deb that the Japanese had a name for it—a furoshiki . And it took her a few tries to get the pronunciation correct—because it sounded to her ears like f’röshkee—but then that’s how many Japanese words are elided. It appears that, in Japan, rather than wasteful toss-away wrapping paper and ribbon, furoshiki are used to wrap gifts. And re-used, and re-used, and re-used… Which pleased Carol immensely when she learned of both the name and the custom. Because part of Carol’s purpose in making the Burden Cloth was to enable walking more lightly on this earth.

The Burden Cloth in Africa…

wood
Burden Cloth or luggage?

Carol’s friend and African emissary travelled for a year in Africa, taking only a Burden Cloth as her luggage. (!) During that year, one African village reverse-engineered her Burden Cloth in order to make their own. When Carol’s missionary friend returned to Eugene after her year abroad, she presented Carol with an African-made one from that village, and here it is.  Hand-woven in narrow strips, the narrow bands were then stitched together into the body of the Burden Cloth. The “webbing” for the edging was made by more of that narrow fabric folded into edging and stitched into place as well.Once assembled, this native-made Burden Cloth was dyed using traditional methods which involved stamping the cloth into natural colors of mud. The result pleased the villagers enough to make a gift of one to send back to Carol in the USA…