In late December 2012 the Ladies of Nong Tao came to Chiang Mai to purchase their first piece of equipment. This group of master weavers know little about sewing other than the simple hand sewing used to stitch pieces of woven cloth to create free form garments. The ladies know virtually nothing about purchasing a sewing machine; it would be up to Sunessa, guided by Tamla and myself, to make the final decision.

Early Wednesday morning Suneesa and her mother made the trip from Nong Tao to Thung Siao to meet up with Tamla. None of the women are able to drive the truck at Jen’s House into the city so another friend was recruited to be the driver. They called to tell me they would be at my place at 11:30.

LadiesOf-Juki

Juki!

The choice of sewing machine had been narrowed down after research and comparative shopping the week before. Our collective decision was to purchase at a small dealer close to my place; the deciding factor was the full year warranty they were offering. Our small group made its way down Chiang Moi Road in single file, as is the way when walking most streets of Chiang Mai. We would purchase a brand new Juki.

We arrived and informed the shopkeeper of our decision to purchase our Juki, which for the record is a small industrial DDL-8700 model made in Japan, (no, not China). As quickly as you could turn around, the boys were hauling down boxes and started to put the machine together in a cramped 30 ft. square space No taking the machines off the lot, (in this case the machines lined up jutting out onto the sidewalk, hence the walking in single file).

LadiesOf-Getting-JukiTwo hours later Juki was loaded. We finished up with a trip to Warrowat market to purchase some weaving materials, thread and backing cloth, the women in Nong Tao left and Juki was soon to join them.