Made by hand, handcrafted, are the words that describe a product that doesn’t come out of a machine. The label it carries heightens its value, though we seldom reflect on the process that lead to its creation. A Norlha scarf, knit or felt is the result of many skills, of the dexterity and talent of one or more Norlha artisans. A woven textile alone requires know how in spinning, loading, weaving, finishing and knotting, separate skills often carried out by different men or women. Felting is another four; laying out, throwing, washing and picking. If the resulting fabric is sewn, tracing, hand and machine sewing are added to that.
Some of these skills existed locally, such as spinning weaving, hand sewing and felting, though all have been adapted or adjusted to more versatile methods or technologies. Others, such as knitting, machine sewing and loading are entirely new. We are fortunate that many of the older skills, having been in the DNA of our artisans for so many generations have now found an outlet at Norlha where they will thrive and be part of a thrilling creative process.
Many of our artisans are versatile and have at least three skills, while others excel in one. It should bring much satisfaction to reflect that the piece we wear and enjoy is the result of so much know how, ancestral knowledge passed down through generations and adapted to newer tools.
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