Felt purses and bags from Nepal
Zanzibar carries a wide range of hand made felt items including purses, bags and coin purses made by a women's cooperative group in Kathmandu, Nepal.
What is Felt?
Felt is the oldest form of fabric known to man. It predates weaving and knitting, although there is archaeological evidence from the British museum that the first known thread was made by winding vegetable fibers on the thigh. Felt dates back to at least 6,500 BC where remains were found in Turkey. Felt is now widely used as a medium for expression in textile art as well as design, where it has significance as an ecological textile.
Felt is made by a process called wet felting, where the
natural wool fiber is stimulated by friction and lubricated by moisture
(usually water), and the fibers move at a 90 degree angle towards the
friction source and then away again, in effect making little "tacking"
stitches. Only 5 percent of the fibers are active at any one moment, but
the process is continual, and so different 'sets' of fibers become
activated and then deactivated in the continual process.
Our felt product is made of 100% Sheep soft wool using the ancient hand art technique of felting. This unique Process involves repeated Scrubbing, Pounding and agitation of the wool until the tiny, naturally occurring barbs on the hairs of wool open up and lock on to one another. This traditional process results in a strong, seamless product, that is very unique. Each and very products is individually made by hand so none of the product are similar to each other hence every product is unique in its color, design and pattern used.
Local wool is purchased usually in the marketplace.
After carding, the fibers are dyed. Dyeing is completely hand done
using non-toxic dyes. Upon completion of the coloring process, our
skilled laborers compress the raw material by hand with the help of soap &
hot water. Our felt products are 100% handmade and are free of
Here are some photos of our artisans in Nepal making felt woolen items
click on any of the photos to enlarge
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This site was last updated 03/22/11