Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibres together. All our felting products are made from 100% sheep wool, which is sourced from Australia and New Zealand. It is then shipped to Nepal via India where our producers source it from a wool broker in Kathmandu. Wool is an amazing natural fibre that has some remarkable properties. The natural lanolin’s in wool means it repels liquids and is, therefore, stain resistant. The chemical properties of wool also make it heat resistant. Wool is also a very strong fibre and is very hard to break so it natural binds without the need to glue or stitch. There are a few different methods of “felting” that our skilful artisans use to create our beautiful products. NEEDLE FELTING is the process of tangling one piece of wool to another using barbed needles. The needles take the wool fibres from one piece and drag them through the other piece where they tangle and attach to each other. It is highly labour intensive but creates beautiful results. WET FELTING is the process whereby hot water and detergent is applied to layers of wool to mould into shape by pressing, rolling or agitating.
ORGANIC BUFFALO LEATHER
How can buffalo leather be organic? First of all, the animal is not killed just for it’s hide, instead, the entire animal is used so there is no waste. Secondly, the hides are tanned using traditional tanning methods which do not involve harsh chemicals and don’t change the look of the leather. The hides are sourced from remote regions in the Himalaya in Nepal and are soaked for up to 3 months in a solution made up of an indigenous plant called “dhairo”. The solution is replaced many times before the leather is left to dry in the sun and stretched regularly. The leather is then treated with mustard seed oil, which is a local crop, and this softens and preserves the hide. Finally, the leather is ready to cut and hand sewn into one of the many unique ‘ethik’ designs. Because of the eco-friendly tanning method, you will see blemishes on the hides which are not faults, rather this is the way leather looks in its natural form.
BODHI LEAF MOBILE
In Buddhism, Bodhi means “enlightenment”. The Bodhi tree is the tree that Buddha sat under and attained enlightenment some 2500 years ago. Our beautiful Bodhi leaf mobiles are made out of the Bodhi tree leaves that are collected, buried and mulched until only the skeleton of the leaf remains. They are then cleaned, dyed and finally threaded onto gold string to make special decorations. The group that produces the mobiles are a certified fair-trade group in Nepal called “Get Paper”. They not only provide employment opportunities for many women, but they also contribute significantly to development issues in Nepal such as girls education, aids awareness and sex trafficking. The women receive fair wages as well as good working conditions and school opportunities for their children.
The organic cotton we use is “GOTS” (global organic textile standard) certified, which means it adheres to the worldwide textile processing standards. This includes both ecological and social criteria as well as being backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. We work closely with our designers and producers in Kathmandu Nepal and they source the cotton from India on our behalf.The organic cotton we use is grown and loomed into fabric in India using eco-friendly methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. The production of organic cotton is made from natural seeds (as opposed to regular cotton which is grown on the same soil over and over again, degrading the soil quality and removing nutrients from the soil) and no pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Low impact dyes have also been used which decreases the use of rinse water and produces less waste, making the cotton safer for the skin.