KAILU 开路 MEANS "OPEN ROAD" IN MANDARIN
The name is inspired by Kailushen, a Chinese god (shen) who removes barriers and clears the way
Founded in 2018, KAILU began with a simple mission: to open the road for those who are curious about the world, ready to explore new ideas and discover new experiences, and desirous of meaningful goods that benefit others and themselves.
ROOTED IN HERITAGE, REDEFINED FOR THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
At KAILU, our handmade goods are as storied as the ancient water towns from which they hail.
PROUDLY HANDMADE IN THE YANGTZE RIVER DELTA
In villages that once outfitted emperors, local artisans infuse history and heritage into handmade bedding
Our raw silk duvets are crafted in family-owned workshops located in the soulful water towns of the Yangtze River Delta.
When we asked a Jili Village silk farmer, “Is it true this was the favorite silk region of the Qing Dynasty Emperors?” with a grin, she said, “Damn right.”
We hope that by unveiling the traditions, we will clear the way for connections that transcend time and place, and bring us closer together.
Farmers like Uncle Yongfu coddle their cán bao bao — “silk babies” in Mandarin — hand-feeding them organic mulberry leaves grown in their own backyards.
Auntie Qiunan says despite younger generations leaving for larger cities, there is an undeniable sense of pride and responsibility to continue the silk tradition among the few remaining silk producers.
Expert makers like Auntie Jingying pull limestone-enriched water straight from the river to wash and process each cocoon by hand. Their incredibly meticulous labor of love sets the stage for supreme sleep for every body, in every season.
Auntie Xiaohong, a local artisan, hand stretches raw silk until it’s soft and fluffy to the touch.
Twins Ling and Ching, 11, get a sneak peek of their photos from KAILU’s founder, EMMY-award winning journalist and former magazine editor LiLi Tan.
Ling and Ching want to raise silkworms when they grow up. We hope to help preserve this fading craft so that they can someday.