Nepalese Woollens

Nepalese Woollens

Meet Dhundu, Kesang and their son

The story goes that enterprising locals started selling traditional yak wool knitwear to tourists who often arrived unprepared for the mountain elements. Kesang’s Father is said to have been the first to come up with this idea, and today the family business is still going strong, all-be-it with softer New Zealand sheep wool.

Loyal Workers

Ratna has worked for Dhundu for several years. Prior to that, she ran a small shop in Kathmandu, but rents were increased beyond her means so she sought more secure work with a steadier income.

During her time at the factory she’s become adept at several roles including wool spinning, embroidery and checking progress and quality.

Ratna works to help support her two children and feels happier she is doing so with a job she enjoys.

The hat worked on here is a complex pattern with two sets of needles. Amazingly, Ratna works from memory and says she finds the activity soothing.

Anu and Prabina

Prabina’s Mother also worked at the factory and would sometimes take her with her from a young age, so Prabina knows the place like home! It’s 16 years since she started working for Dhundu herself.

This is testament to the way Dhundu treats his workforce and how seriously he takes his responsibility for his staff.

It’s common knowledge that he regularly provides work for his team, even when orders are lacking. He views his workers as extended family with close bonds and valued friendships having formed over the years.

Most of the knitting work is carried out by women at home, but today the women have met in the ancient city of Bhaktapur to socialise while they knit. They’re knitting hats for Namaste and will be paid a piece rate, which enables them to fit the work into their free time.

Facing Disaster

Anu Shrestha's home was destroyed in the earthquake of 2015.

Since then she’s lived with her extended family in a temporary shelter on the building site of her new house and despite everything, she remains optimistic and practical.

She rallied her family to build a new access road so that construction of a new dwelling could begin and created a beautiful organic vegetable garden on the plot too.

Anu’s main work for the business is to distribute and collect the knitting work in the area and she is relieved to have the income.

Distinct Wool Types

In the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, our knitwear ranges are lovingly handmade by skilled artisans. These skills have been passed down through generations and are being kept alive by demand for high-quality woollen garments.

Made from 100% New Zealand sheep wool, the natural fibre is treated, processed and spun into the type of yarn most suitable for artisans.

All the garments are hand produced using traditional tools and methods. Complex designs can require up to 4 needles at the same time and precision patterns are developed through dextrous handicraft skills and imagination.

Fair Conditions

The earthquake of 2015 presented Dhundu with another opportunity to go over and above for his workforce.

He made sure that workers affected were given extra work to help with rebuilding costs. He said keeping the women employed is rewarding and worthwhile.

Of course, his business needs to be profitable and sustainable too.

Namaste is more than happy to support Dhundu's traditionally run family business, producing traditional knitwear by happy workers.

Fine Yarn and Chunky Knit

Our knitwear collections feature two distinct wool types.

One comes from a specially selected fine yarn and is key to creating rich colour designs in intricate patterns.

These premium products are at a slightly higher price, reflecting the processes and work involved.

Chunky knits are made with wool yarn of a coarser nature. Far less fine, it's easier and quicker to work with giving a broader knit and a cosy, thicker texture.


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