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OUR FABRICS

GET TO KNOW OUR FABRICS

We use a combination of Linen and a fiber called Allo which has been sourced from the Himalayas of Nepal.We chose these fabrics for their durability, low maintenance and the sustainable way in which they are produced.

WHY LINEN?

Linen is incredibly durable and gets softer with each wash, unlike cotton which can become threadbare as the fibers are weakened. 


Linen is a textile woven from the fibers of the flax plant - it is one of the worlds oldest textiles. It requires little maintenance during the growing period, with minimal water and chemicals used. The fiber is ready for harvest every 100 days meaning it is a very fast renewable and sustainable resource.  There is no waste from the flax plant, once the textile fibers have been extracted, what remains is the flax seed which is turned into meal and oil.  


We source natural undyed linen and then dye these in small batches to use less water than commercially dyed fabrics.

WHY ALLO?

Aside from it's pure natural beauty.  Allo is an incredibly strong fiber, in fact stronger than linen. With a stunning textured finish, it's the perfect fabric for our carriers.


Allo is a type of Himalayan Nettle fiber. It is grown in abundance around the Himalayan regions and as such has created a means of income for these otherwise marginalized communities.  It is a very sustainable fabric supply as the plant almost grows uncontrollably making it a fast renewable resource.The process involved in the production of the fabric, though labor-intensive, is done by hand which cuts out many chemicals, energy, machinery and pollution.

ALLO FABRIC JOURNEY

From seed to fabric - the entire process is done by hand within the remote communities of Nepal some 600kms North East of Kathmandu in the Himalayan Foothills.

HARVESTING

Allo grows wild under the forest at the foothills of the Himalayas at altitudes of between 1200-3000m.


It is typically harvested in the months of November and December.  The allo plant has many stinging hairs on its stems and many communities do not have gloves to harvest the shoots, so they wait for the winter months where the sting of the nettle is reduced by the cold.


PREPARING THE FIBER

The shoots are then stripped of their bark with their bare hands and they are then laid to dry for several days in the sun.


The bark is then boiled in water to make it softer and easier to manage.

The next biggest challenge for the community is retting of the plant, a process to separate the fibers.  This can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

The retted fibers are then dried and they are then finally ready to be spun.

SPINNING AND WEAVING 

A wooden spinning wheel (charkha) is used to roll the fiber into thread.  It is then woven on traditional hand looms into the beautiful fabrics you see on our baby carriers.


Once the fabric is complete, it then takes the 600km journey over 5 days through the countryside (which includes 1 day of walking!) to Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, before it makes it's way to our makers in Indonesia.

THE IMPACT FOR THE NEPALI WOMEN.

The production of Allo fabric provides these marginalised communities and small scale farmers with business opportunities that otherwise wouldn't be available in these remote regions.  The Allo production employs mostly woman which has been hugely influential to empowering these woman to find financial flexibility and social inclusion.


The Allo business has made significant contribution in reducing poverty, empowering women, putting children through school as an outcome of empowering women, and improving maternal health.  All the things that Zarpar exists to help nurture.


BEGIN YOUR ZARPAR JOURNEY...

Help us to support these talented artisans and begin your Zarpar Bebe journey today.