NEPALI WEAVING HERITAGE
Traditional Nepalese/Nepali weaving is an age-old art that dates back to 3,000 BCE. The skills required to harvest natural fibers (from plants or animals), spin them into yarns, weave them on traditional looms, and dye the fabric have been passed on from generation to generation.
Over the years, Nepali weaving has gone through changes, from the materials to the processes to the patterns.
For 40 years, Felted Cashmere has kept traditional Nepali weaving alive, particularly in the production of cashmere pashmina, one of the most prized fabrics in the world.
THE FIRST GENERATION OF CASHMERE WEAVERS IN THE FAMILY
Realizing the value of cashmere pashmina, Rajendra Man Singh Basnyat and Rabindra Man Singh Basnyat founded Buddha Handicrafts Industry in 1982.
They set up shop in Paltan Ghar, a 245-year-old ancestral property in Ason, Keltole, that used to be a platoon house. A pashmina shop in an army house bode a new chapter for their family from a long line of professionals serving the military and the government.
From one of the oldest and busiest marketplaces in Nepal, they made and sold all kinds of cashmere products woven on traditional handlooms.
The business has shipped over 400,000 shawls, scarves, stoles and blankets since then.
THE SECOND-GENERATION CASHMERE WEAVERS
Rajendra Bista, Regendra Man Singh Basnyat, and Soujanya Dhungel, whose professional backgrounds are in custom suit tailoring, cashmere production, and retail operations, respectively, have always admired local artisans and craftsmen skilled in traditional Nepalese/Nepali weaving.
Their shared passion and dedication for this age-old art and tradition naturally led them to continue the family legacy of crafting beautiful cashmere products in their part of the Himalayas.
Early in their journey, Rajendra, Regendra, and Soujanya committed themselves to reviving this art and staying true to traditional hand-weaving processes in an environment where machine-produced cashmere factories thrive and where more and more Nepalese artisans and craftsmen abandon their looms for a life abroad.
In the midst of these challenges, they looked to an ethical and sustainable cashmere product for the solution. After brainstorming, research, and experimentation, they settled on the ultralight, sheer, soft, strong, and trans-seasonal felted cashmere scarf.
From the cashmere shawls, scarves, stoles, and blankets that the family enterprise has been crafting throughout the years, they decided to focus on this scarf that was incredibly soft to touch and wrap around.
And in 2021, the trio formed Felted Cashmere Scarves as the digital storefront of their business, selling exclusively the newly designed featherlight felted cashmere scarf.
A year later, the online brand has gathered the attention of cashmere lovers worldwide. Its demand keeps the handlooms busy and sustains the livelihood of a community of weavers and craftsmen. Hundreds of customers across the globe in 34 countries now possess in their wardrobe this wonderful heritage piece from the Himalayas.
The company aims to empower and train more rural weavers in this tradition of handlooms and improve on a business model that’s sustainable and ethical in many stages and aspects.
We will improve our processes, address the challenges of our time, stay relevant while keeping true to our core values, and, most importantly, ensure that the power and benefit of this globalised eCommerce opportunity go to our rural weavers and their families.
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