The Radhi Rug Weavers of The Himalayas

 A weaver working on a traditional nomadic back-strap loom

A weaver working on a traditional nomadic back-strap loom

Our radhi rugs are our best-selling products.  Based on traditional radhi produced for the local market in Nepal, they are often used as blankets, floor coverings and even worn to keep out the cold and rain.  They're woven in the Himalayas by artisans using wool from local sheep, which is hand-spun.  We use only the un-dyed wool in our designs - creamy white and a dark grey wool from black sheep.

The radhi are first woven on simple back-strap looms, which can be set up anywhere - against a tree or a building.  The looms are narrow, and the cloth woven on them is only about 36cm wide.  To create a larger piece such as a carpet, several strips of cloth are sewn together by hand.  Our rugs come in various sizes, using 4, 5 and 7 widths of narrow cloth joined together.

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Once woven and sewn into larger pieces, the radhi are then washed and agitated in hot water to felt the wool, producing a thick, sturdy rug.  The fringed ends of the warp threads also felt together making a nice detail along the edges.

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We designed several simple patterns based on the simple weaving process and taking inspiration from some of the traditional motifs we'd seen being woven.  We named each pattern after some of the highest mountains in Nepal.

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