We trade directly with a family in Northern India who weave the most beautiful shawls from 100% Himalayan wool using the natural colours of wool.
These high mountain sheep are strong, fiesty animals with thick coats that keep them warm in sub zero temperatures. Local people have long used these fibres to spin and weave into cloth to protect them from the cold.
Our range of cream and tweed shawls are made with 100% Himalayan wools and are unique to Learning From the Land. The weavers use the natural cream wool as the base, and then use the bark of a particular nut tree to dye the wool a rich brown tone for the contrasting tweed.
They are generous in size, measuring 1 metre wide and 2.2 metres long, and are incredibly warm. Click here to see the full range of shawls.
The Kumar family who makes our shawls live in a village in Uttarkshi district in the state of Uttrakhand in northern India. Two communities straddle the banks of the holy River Ganga at this point: the Kinnori people, who are skilled spinners and weavers and the Bhotiya people who mostly farm sheep. They also inhabit a village higher up the mountain near the glacier known as Gangotri. Together they produce products such as our shawls for sale locally and outside the region.
The wool is first washed by hand in the mountain streams before being sorted by hand. The shawls are made on a pedal-loom, which is operated by foot and hand. In these images you can see the Kumar family spinning the wool on traditional spinning wheels and then weaving it into cloth lengths.