Tintsaba started as a women’s handicraft project in April, 1985 with 12 women. Over the years, Tintsaba has trained over 900 remarkable women in both self development as well as economic skills, earning a reputation as Master Weavers in sisal for fine quality products.
In 1999, Tintsaba established the Silver Jewellery workshop, with the objective of refining the traditional coiling technique and combining it with silver to create the most refined and beautiful jewellery pieces. Highly skilled artisans become jewellers and silvermiths, earning a higher income for their refined work.
Tintsaba provides the environment and the training that enables the women to become Master Weavers, Silversmiths or Managers.
You can find out more about this amazing organisation by watching this video.
Sisal Agave, sisalensis, is an invasive weed that grows throughout Swaziland and it is used to make cattle fences. Because it is an invasive exotic plant, it is ideal for craft production since harvesting does not threaten the country’s natural biodiversity. Tintsaba uses sisal in the creation of all its refined handmade items.
The preparation of the raw material involves little water and no chemicals. The dye pots are specially designed to use wood fuel to its fullest potential and the wood used is waste from a sawmill using exotic timber. There is also a soak away to catch any minute bits of dye or vinegar that is used as a fixative.
Tintsaba holds a certificate from the dye company for environmentally safe dyes. They are also in the process of developing a range of organic dyes specifically for use in the jewellery. The method of dying is called ” to exhaustion” which means that all the dye is used up in the process.
All components used in the jewellery are nickel free. The wire used in the natural jewellery is made from silver plated wire around a copper core.
The silver is 925 Sterling silver .
Staff are trained in the waste disposal so that all is split into organic and reusable/recyclable and the remainder is burnt in a specially designed incinerator. The office is inside a nature reserve, ensuring that all waste is correctly disposed of and staff are educated in minimal impact on the environment.