We recently got to learn more about our nettle shawls and scarves, and our soon to be introduced bamboo fibre shawls and scarves during our current trip in Nepal. We have been selling our nettle pieces in Australia since 2009, and have recently been introduced to the lovely ladies who make them. We buy our nettle pieces directly from a Fair Trade agency in Nepal, and are happy to have finally connected with our makers.
Stinging nettle fibre has been harvested in Nepal for generations. Traditionally used to make clothing, the nettle used is harvested by hand from wild crops. Villagers will trek to the site and make temporary camps where they will spend up to a week cutting and preparing the nettle 'flesh' (the inside of the trunks and branches) to be transported back to their villages.
Once it has been turned into usable fibre,
the process of spinning now begins. This is where the village women come in and show their expertise - the fibre is spun constantly, whether in between jobs around the house, tending to the animals or on foot walking between villages.
The women then weave and crochet the fibre into beautiful garments such as our nettle shawls and nettle scarves. The women who make our pieces are making them in their spare time to create extra income for their family. They are employed by a certified Fair Trade agency in Nepal to deliver however many they can make to Kathmandu. They are then sold to people like like us who bring them back to Australia (and many other countries) to pass on these stunning creations to you.
Each one is different depending on the individual plant the fibre is taken from. They are left undyed, and the raw natural colour shines through. The fibre is so delicate and thin (in comparison to hemp fibre) and the end creations feel like a luxury fibre to wear.
Enjoy your gorgeous creations knowing that it is a true eco fibre made by home based women employed by a certified Fair Trade agency in Nepal.
Until next time,