Nepalese Felt Decorations

Nepalese Felt Decorations

Our popular handmade felt mice are sourced from Kathmandu, Nepal, where they are skilfully constructed by artisans like Lalita (pictured).

Having mastered the art of stitching these intricate little creatures, Lalita has progressed over 10 years to mentoring her co-workers and over-seeing order production. It’s a world away from her previous job at another company. There her role was to package large items; physically demanding work for which Lalita received poor wages.

Today, Lalita is far happier performing lighter work for a fair-trade company.

Benefits include a workers’ co-operative, Insurance plus 2% cash back and higher wages paid as a base salary.

Then there’s the added advantage of living close to the factory, making more leisure time available to spend with family.

Lalita’s husband is the Manager of an electrical shop and their combined wages meet basic living costs for the family, as well as supporting their daughter’s college studies for a Bachelors in Business Administration.

It’s good to know, the higher wages and better conditions provided by supporting a fair trade company will empower the family to further improve prospects for the next generations!

Raw Material

  • New Zealand wool is imported in its raw form. Nepal’s infrastructure can’t sustain a wool industry of its own and home sourced Yak wool is too coarse for making felt.
  • The wool is dyed at a separate facility and either brushed, spun into yarn or boiled and brushed to make into felt sheets.
  • The process of making a mouse starts by taking a tuft of wool, moistening with soap and water and hand rolling into a rough ball shape for the body.
  • This is then wrapped in a cloth and rolled on a rubber mat to produce a smooth shape and remove excess moisture.

A Star is Born

The rolling is repeated and the finished article placed in the strong Himalayan sun to dry.

Smaller balls are made in the same way for the head.Mouse ears and tail are made from the felt sheets, cut to size, then shaped by hand using soapy water.

Each mouse section is made at an individual work station.

Wardrobe Please!

The different sections are then sewn together in the stitching department.

Other decorative elements and the string to hang the mouse from are sewn on too.

The clothing is created separately using a needle felt technique.

Time to Board

Finally, in the packing and sorting department, Namaste brand and fair trade labels are added.

The mice are packaged ready for export to Namaste in the UK by sea.

On arrival in England, the mice are ready for new homes!


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