Exploring Kathmandu Supply Chains
August 3, 2015, 5:12 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Nepal 2015 093-2Kathmandu remains a handicraft paradise. You can find something beautiful, go straight to its maker and see them at work. Exploring the supply chain of my little textile enterprise has been an incredible experience so far. It’s a hybrid between a research expedition and a treasure hunt and I’m completely fascinated. Lucky for me, I have partners here that indulge my need to see every step along the path from raw fiber to finished good. I’ve gone from dye house to felt factory most recently. Nepalis aren’t afraid of color and both were a feast of every hue imaginable. I’ve been in heaven.

The dye house was a pretty impressive operation. They process thousands of kilos of New Zealand wool (Nepal doesn’t have the population of sheep needed to meet market demands) with their own set of carders, then dye the roving any color you can dream up in their lab that consists of a stove top burner and elaborate mess of mad scientist beakers.

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With their color prowess, they create beauties like this new line of our yarn!

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This lovely lady below had a mountain of red yarn to package for a customer. I tried hard to tempt her to jump into it with me like a pile of leaves (but she was busy).

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The dye house staff entertained my interest in seeing everything from the dye vats to the rice husk-fueled furnace, to the water treatment process. People have a lovely way of taking their time with you here, and serving you cup after cup of milk tea (aka chai) in between.

And on to the makers of felt! My partner felt workshop is a tiny but bustling enterprise. It provides flexible opportunities for women who need full or part-time work, and many students who are funding themselves through college. Their skill and patience with their art form is a pleasure to watch.

Felt yarn making in action!

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And then there is also mini felt ball crafting that seems to be all the rage these days…

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Tomorrow I’m off to a Bhaktapur-based spinning and weaving house. Then later this week I’m back to a women’s empowerment crafts group to meet a master embroiderer to work on labels, then a paper maker for tags. No shortage of stunning talent here!

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Would love to have been with you to see the fiber preparation steps! Thank you for sharing with such vivid words and wonderful pictures! Love from your FGM

Comment by FGM Suzanne

And I so would have loved to have you with me!

Comment by wayuphigh




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