Wild Hemp

Hemp takes natural dyes well and we take advantage of this, offering it in various natural dye colours throughout our range. We often combine it in our products with other natural fibres and with natural dyes, making unique and beautiful items with so much character and history.

Hemp Fibre

Hemp fibre was used by our ancestors around the world before it was widely replaced by cotton and paper and outlawed as a commercial crop in many countries. The reasons suggested for its demise as a popular industrial material are numerous, but more recently hemp’s reputation as a sustainable and eco-friendly fabric is (re)gaining ground the world over.

Besides being used in fabric production, hemp can be used as fuel, food (hemp seeds are heralded as a “superfood”), stock feed and medicine. Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) grows wild naturally in most parts of Nepal and with so much sun and a monsoon rainfall pattern, climatic conditions in Nepal allow for three hemp crops per year (most countries have only two crops).

 

Where We Source Our Hemp
The majority of hemp in Nepal grows at around 3000 metres above sea level, often in remote areas. We source our hemp primarily from Darchula in West Nepal, where hemp collection has a rich tradition within the rural communities. After hand harvesting the plants and processing the fibres into a form similar to wool, shepherds spin the fibre into thread while wandering the hillsides, grazing their animals. The thread is then woven by hand to make fabric for clothes, ropes and mats that would last a family for generations.

 

Hemp Tradition in Nepal

While in the global west and many cities of the world the love of hemp fabric is slowly being rekindled and growing, in its traditional heartlands like rural Nepal, it is slowly disappearing as a commodity.

Such traditions are slowly being replaced as more people move to cities and modern, cheap clothes are replacing traditional fabrics and styles. As we heard throughout Nepal (with regards to many of the materials we use at Khali Khutta):

“Knowledge and skills that were essential are no more, as people can buy clothes, ropes. The youth are not interested. Our traditional way of life is under threat”

We use Nepali hemp to create a way for Nepali shepherds to keep their traditions and local knowledge alive.

 

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