I am working on an income generation project for poor villagers in the foothills of Nepal, creating low-tech, sustainable processes for them to produce export-quality, wild-growing Himalayan nettle fiber for use in fashion products. The goal is to sell the fiber up stream, to an innovative manufacturer and then collaboratively sell the fabric.
The fiber is lovely, similar to linen but can be finer and is stronger and more elastic. As we scale up, the social/financial impact on Nepal will be unprecedented and the fiber is 100% sustainable. It grows in the wild!
I hope someone will have suggestions for me. This project means real income for families who, today, live outside of any cash economy.
Offset Warehouse represents ethical spinners and weavers that I'm sure would love to help. If you email me at Charlie@offsetwarehouse.com, we can discuss your exact requirements further and I can forward you the appropriate weavers' contact details.
Your project sounds really interesting and worthwhile.
I am afraid this is probably not the reply you were hoping for, but I am currently travelling, soon to be in Nepal and am really interested to come and see how your project is working. I am desperate to get involved helping struggling communities and families, using fabric production as a tool and don't wish miss the opportunity of being in a country with such fascinating textiles.
I specialised in knit during my studies but have a basic understand of weave and yarns. I would be happy to help you out in any way but if these basic skills are more of a hindrance than a help then perhaps I could simply visit your project briefly and help you out with any odd jobs you may need as a thank you?
I can't seem to write a reply to your original reply. Nor can I send you a message. So, email me at ellie at himalayanwildfibers dot com and then we can work on getting together.
Thanks for your interest,
I read about your fiber and we might be interested. We are a company based out of India and Belgium. We have a production unit very close to Nepal in Darjeeling. We have set up our workshop there as we would like to help the local community too.
As a company we make garments for various brands across Europe and the US. Would you be supplying us the fiber/ yarn or the fabric?
If you supply us the yarn we can have it woven and if you supply us the fabric we can have it stitched into fabric and show it to our clients. If there is an interest it would be a win win situation for all of us.
How is the project going... well I hope as it has been a few months since your post?
I know nettle fabric has been around for a while now... I think one of my suppliers had it in stock a while back but I must admit I never bought it. He was seemed to source a lot of his fibres, yarns and fabrics from India though?
It would be great to keep in touch as I do hand spin yarns and moving into more advanced weaving but I would be on small quantities for now. I would be interested in purchasing at various stages from fibre to spin, through to yarn and finiahed fabric.
You need to be friends to email so have added you - keep in touch and good luck!!!
Hi Ellie, you can post some pictures, thought the fiber sounds not bad. I really admire your good -wish. I have a factory manufacturing handbag , and i have a good establishement with some fiber manufactury, i wll try to pick one for you.