Our Factory and Human resources
Our factory, which is situated at Manamaiju, Kathmandu is spread over an area of 4000 sq ft with two additional facilities within city limits, thereby enhancing our overall annual production capacity. The manufacturing unit operates on the basis of quality, precision, and time-management.
Our company is also committed to safety and environment. We completely abide by EU standards in each stage. The entire manufacturing and quality assessment procedures are established and adhered to strictly.
Each piece of felt products is handcrafted by our artisans. They have many years of experience and they design the felt wool with extreme sophistication. In this business, it is very important to get the right cut each time. It is also critical as otherwise there will be wastage. This ensures that our promise to the environment never gets compromised. That is how our products provide an experience and are not just for utility.
Once the product is manufactured, it is time to finish it with colors and varnish to ensure durability and everlasting grace. Special requests from customers for colors and finishing details are always welcome, and our expert artisans are eager to try out new techniques. Our team takes special care to ensure colors and chemicals used in finishing are of the highest quality standards at all times. We take utmost care in ensuring none of the chemicals used have any harmful effects on health or environment.
All our products are shipped to customers around the world after the most stringent quality checks. Our artisans check each piece manually to ensure only the perfect products are delivered to the customers. The packaging is done with care to ensure damage-free transportation. If the customer requests for a quicker delivery, we ship them by air too.
Felt Manufacturing in Nepal: Empowering Women and Ensuring Fair Trade Practices
Felt manufacturing in Nepal has emerged as a significant industry, creating opportunities for employment and empowering Nepali women.
“This article delves into the benefits of the felt manufacturing sector in providing employment to women, its impact on fair trade practices, and strategies to maintain fair wages amidst the evolving upscale economy of Nepal and how our company is contributing the society.
Historical Context of Felt Manufacturing in Nepal
Origins and Tradition of Felt Making in Nepal
Felt making in Nepal traces its origins back to ancient times when nomadic tribes, particularly the Tibetan and Mongolian communities, brought their traditional felting techniques to the region. The art of felting, which involves matting and pressing fibers together to create a dense fabric-like material, has been an integral part of the cultural heritage of Nepal.
The nomadic tribes settled in various parts of Nepal, bringing their expertise and knowledge of felting. Over time, the local communities began to adopt and refine these techniques, incorporating their own artistic traditions and designs. Felt products became an essential part of daily life, used for clothing, blankets, rugs, and various household items.
Evolution of Felt Manufacturing as an Industry:
While felt making has a long history in Nepal, it was in the latter half of the 20th century that it began to evolve into a significant industry. With the establishment of specialized workshops and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques, felt production gradually transformed from a traditional craft to a commercially viable sector.
During the early years, felt manufacturing in Nepal was primarily a cottage industry, with small-scale production taking place in homes and local workshops. However, as the demand for felt products grew both domestically and internationally, larger manufacturing units emerged, equipped with improved machinery and infrastructure.
The evolution of felt manufacturing as an industry was also influenced by external factors such as globalization and the rise of fair trade practices. International interest in handmade and sustainable products opened up new markets for Nepali felt, leading to increased production and export opportunities.
As the industry expanded, it began to attract investments and collaborations from both local and international entities. This led to the establishment of formalized felt manufacturing enterprises, employing skilled artisans and providing them with better working conditions, training, and access to resources.
Today, felt manufacturing in Nepal has become a vital economic sector, contributing to the country’s export earnings and providing employment opportunities, particularly for women in rural areas. The industry continues to grow and adapt, combining traditional felting techniques with modern innovations to meet the demands of global markets while preserving the rich cultural heritage of felt making in Nepal.
The historical context of felt manufacturing in Nepal showcases its deep roots in traditional craftsmanship and the subsequent evolution into a thriving industry. The fusion of ancient techniques with modern approaches has positioned Nepal as a renowned hub for high-quality handmade felt products, bringing economic opportunities and preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage.
Importance of Felt Manufacturing for Women Empowerment:
Economic Empowerment through Employment Opportunities:
Felt manufacturing in Nepal plays a significant role in empowering women by providing them with employment opportunities. Traditionally, women in rural areas of Nepal have faced limited economic prospects, often being confined to household chores and subsistence farming. The emergence of the felt industry has opened up avenues for women to participate in meaningful income-generating activities.
Felt and Thread is providing women gain access to stable and formal employment which enables them to earn a regular income, contribute to their family’s financial well-being, and become economically independent. The wages they earn from their work in the industry empower them to make decisions regarding their own lives and the futures of their families.
Skill Development and Capacity Building:
Felt and Thread offer women the chance to develop and enhance their skills, thereby increasing their confidence and self-esteem. Through training programs provided by the industry, women learn various aspects of felt production, including felting techniques, dyeing methods, quality control, and product design. These skills not only improve their employability within the felt industry but also equip them with transferable skills that can be applied in other sectors.
As women acquire technical expertise and gain experience in felt manufacturing, they become more knowledgeable about the market demands and trends. This knowledge empowers them to actively participate in decision-making processes, contribute to product development, and even establish their own entrepreneurial ventures in the future.
Social and Cultural Impact:
The engagement of women in the felt industry has broader social and cultural implications. In a society where gender roles have traditionally been restrictive, the participation of women in economic activities challenges traditional norms and stereotypes. As women become breadwinners, they break through societal barriers, empowering themselves and inspiring other women to follow suit.
Furthermore, the involvement of women in our felt industry helps preserve and promote cultural heritage. Felt products often incorporate traditional designs, patterns, and motifs that are deeply rooted in Nepali culture. By producing and showcasing these cultural elements through their work, women contribute to the preservation and celebration of their heritage. This also allows for the transmission of traditional skills and knowledge from one generation to another, ensuring the continuity of Nepal’s rich artistic traditions.
Overall, the empowerment of women through felt manufacturing is a transformative process that goes beyond economic benefits. It encompasses skill development, increased self-confidence, and social change. By providing employment opportunities, fostering skill development, and preserving cultural heritage, the felt industry in Nepal plays a vital role in empowering women and promoting gender equality. It serves as a catalyst for social and economic transformation, creating a more inclusive and equitable society.
Benefits of Felt Manufacturing in Promoting Fair Trade
Sustainable Sourcing of Raw Materials
One of the key benefits of felt manufacturing is its commitment to sustainable sourcing of raw materials. Felt is primarily made from natural fibers, such as wool, which are renewable resources. Felt manufacturers in Nepal often prioritize sourcing wool from local farmers who practice sustainable and ethical methods of animal husbandry. This ensures that the raw materials used in the production process are obtained in an environmentally responsible manner.
Additionally, the use of natural dyes derived from plant-based sources further promotes sustainability in felt manufacturing. These natural dyes are eco-friendly, biodegradable, and free from harmful chemicals, reducing the environmental impact of the production process. By prioritizing sustainable sourcing, felt manufacturers contribute to the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems.
Ethical Production Practices
Fair trade principles are integral to the felt manufacturing industry in Nepal. Manufacturers place a strong emphasis on ethical production practices, ensuring that workers are treated with dignity and respect. This includes providing safe working conditions, fair wages, and reasonable working hours.
Felt manufacturing enterprises often collaborate with local communities, providing employment opportunities to marginalized groups, including women in rural areas. By offering fair wages and stable employment, these enterprises empower workers economically, reducing poverty and promoting social well-being.
Moreover, ethical production practices encompass the prohibition of child labor. Felt manufacturers in Nepal adhere to strict guidelines to ensure that no child labor is involved in the production process. This commitment to fair and ethical practices not only supports the well-being of workers but also promotes social justice and human rights.
Transparent Supply Chain:
Felt manufacturing in Nepal prioritizes maintaining a transparent supply chain, ensuring traceability and accountability. Manufacturers work closely with suppliers and artisans, fostering open communication and promoting transparency at every stage of the production process.
By establishing transparent supply chains, felt manufacturers can track the origin of raw materials, monitor the production process, and ensure compliance with fair trade standards. This transparency helps build trust between manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers, reinforcing the commitment to fair trade practices.
Additionally, transparent supply chains enable consumers to make informed choices about the products they purchase. By providing information about the sourcing and production of felt products, manufacturers empower consumers to support ethical and sustainable practices.
Felt manufacturing in Nepal offers several benefits in promoting fair trade practices. Through sustainable sourcing of raw materials, ethical production practices, and transparent supply chains, the industry contributes to environmental conservation, supports the well-being of workers, and provides consumers with ethically produced products. The commitment to fair trade principles not only enhances the reputation of Nepali felt products but also aligns with global sustainability goals and values.
Challenges in Maintaining Fair Trade and Fair Wages:
Impact of Upscaling Economy on Wages
As the Nepali economy continues to grow and upscale, one of the challenges in maintaining fair trade and fair wages in the felt manufacturing industry is the impact of this economic growth on wages. With increased demand and market competition, there may be pressures to keep production costs low, which can potentially affect the wages paid to workers.
To address this challenge, it is essential for felt manufacturers to prioritize fair wages as a fundamental aspect of their business practices. This includes conducting regular wage reviews, benchmarking against industry standards, and ensuring that workers receive a living wage that meets their basic needs. It is crucial for manufacturers to strike a balance between economic growth and the fair compensation of their workforce.
Ensuring Fair Pricing and Negotiations
Another challenge in maintaining fair trade is ensuring fair pricing and negotiations between manufacturers and buyers. In a competitive marketplace, buyers may seek lower prices, putting pressure on manufacturers to reduce their profit margins or compromise on fair wages. This can create a significant challenge in maintaining fair trade principles.
To address this challenge, manufacturers need to educate buyers about the value and impact of fair trade practices. By highlighting the social and economic benefits derived from fair wages and ethical production, manufacturers can emphasize the importance of fair pricing. Additionally, engaging in open and transparent negotiations with buyers and promoting the value of handmade, sustainable products can help establish a mutual understanding and appreciation for fair trade principles.
Establishing Equitable Work Conditions
Ensuring equitable work conditions is crucial for maintaining fair trade in the felt manufacturing industry. This includes providing safe and healthy working environments, promoting work-life balance, and respecting the rights and well-being of workers.
Challenges may arise in areas such as workplace safety, access to healthcare, and providing suitable working hours. It is essential for manufacturers to invest in proper infrastructure, machinery, and training to ensure a safe and conducive working environment for their employees. Additionally, establishing fair and reasonable working hours, providing opportunities for skills development, and promoting work-life balance are important aspects of maintaining equitable work conditions.
To address these challenges, manufacturers can collaborate with relevant stakeholders, such as trade unions, non-governmental organizations, and governmental bodies, to ensure compliance with labor laws and establish best practices in workplace conditions. Regular monitoring and assessment of work conditions can help identify areas for improvement and ensure the well-being of workers.
While fair trade and fair wages are central to the felt manufacturing industry in Nepal, there are challenges to maintaining these principles in an evolving economic landscape. By addressing challenges related to wages, pricing, and work conditions, manufacturers can uphold fair trade practices, ensure fair compensation for workers, and contribute to a sustainable and equitable industry. It requires a collective effort from manufacturers, buyers, and other stakeholders to overcome these challenges and create a fair and thriving felt manufacturing sector in Nepal.
Promoting Market Demand for Fair Trade Felt Products
At Felt and Thread, we are committed to promoting women empowerment through our dedication to fair trade practices in the production and promotion of felt products. We believe that by creating market demand for fair trade felt products, we can make a positive impact on the lives of women artisans in Nepal. Here’s how we are achieving this:
Raising Awareness among Consumers:
We understand the power of consumer choices in driving social change. That’s why we prioritize raising awareness among consumers about the importance of fair trade and its impact on women empowerment. Through our website, social media channels, and educational campaigns, we strive to educate consumers about the value of ethically sourced and handmade felt products.
By sharing the stories of the women artisans behind our products, we aim to create a connection between consumers and the artisans, fostering empathy and understanding. We also provide information on the fair trade principles we adhere to, including fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable sourcing of materials. By raising awareness, we encourage consumers to make conscious purchasing decisions that support women’s empowerment and fair trade practices.
7.2 Market Access and International Trade Opportunities:
Access to markets is vital for the success of women artisans in Nepal. At Felt and Thread, we actively seek international trade opportunities and work towards expanding market access for our fair trade felt products. By collaborating with like-minded organizations, participating in trade fairs, and establishing partnerships with international retailers, we aim to reach a global audience.
By connecting women artisans with international markets, we provide them with opportunities to showcase their skills and craftsmanship on a larger platform. This opens doors for economic growth and empowerment, enabling them to earn a sustainable income and improve their quality of life. We believe that international trade can play a significant role in uplifting women artisans and their communities.
7.3 Collaboration with Retailers and Fair Trade Networks:
Collaboration is key to promoting fair trade and women empowerment. We actively collaborate with retailers and fair trade networks to ensure that our fair trade felt products reach a wider audience. By partnering with retailers who share our values, we strengthen the demand for fair trade products and create a market that values ethical production practices.
We also work closely with fair trade networks and organizations to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and advocate for fair trade principles. Through these collaborations, we strive to create a supportive ecosystem that empowers women artisans and fosters sustainable economic growth.
By promoting market demand for fair trade felt products, Felt and Thread is making a tangible impact on women empowerment in Nepal. We invite you to explore our range of exquisite felt products, each lovingly handcrafted by talented women artisans. With your support, together, we can create a world where fair trade and women’s empowerment go hand in hand.
Choose Felt and Thread, and be a part of the change!