The Norlha Model


A successful company is often judged by the satisfaction of its owner and customer. Between these two is the worker, who is often left out of the equation, particularly in fragile communities where they are vulnerable to exploitation.

In the world of fast fashion trends, where quality is largely overlooked, the consumer may be happy with a low price but unaware that it was achieved by unethical labor practices and poor environmental standards. 

We're changing that story...

On average, the purchase of one Norlha scarf provides for a family of four for one month.

Our Atelier is the heartbeat of our company. We are centrally located in the village of Zorge Ritoma on the Tibetan Plateau where our artisans, business team and CEO all call home.

In a rural community based upon nomadic traditions, we have established a new socioeconomic class: While keeping families together and traditions alive, Norlha provides training, sustainable employment opportunities, and a stable income.

In turn, the consumer not only receives a product of exceptional quality and timeless look, they become a participant in revolutionizing the industry by contributing to slow, sustainable fashion. 
Meet the Makers




Techniques



Norlha adapts innovation to tradition to weave and felt yak khullu in a sustainable process that brings the best out of this exquisite fiber while respecting the local culture from which it comes.



Weaving
Norlha weaves its scarves and fabrics with hand operated shuttle looms, an innovation new to the region. An intermediate technology introduced to the subcontinent from England during the Industrial Revolution our looms are imported from India and are perfectly adapted to a village enterprise. 

Felting
Norlha’s felting process is also based on methods that combine tradition and innovation. The women who felt Norlha fabrics are highly experienced in this age old process. Their ability to work with the unique properties of yak results in an exceptional product.

Tailoring
Tibetan nomad women are highly skilled hand sewers. In the Norlha atelier, they stitch finely crafted garments that combine machine sewing and hand finishing.

Knitting
Having spent generations making all their clothes and the other necessities of nomadic life, nomad women are traditionally skilled at a variety of crafts. Though knitting is a new skill, they have learned quickly and now handknit Norlha’s range of simple to complex stitches with great skill and ease.

Spinning
As former nomads, Norlha women have a natural talent for spinning. Traditionally, they used drop spindles to spin sheep wool, though this method was not suitable for spinning yak wool efficiently. To improve spinning speed and accuracy, we imported charka spinning wheels from India, used there for hundreds of years to spin cotton, a short fiber like yak.