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.

Norlha produces yak wool fabrics and accessories for the global luxury market. Since 2005, we have operated from Ritoma, a village of a few hundred families whose entire economy is based on herding yaks.

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Weaving

Norlha weaves its scarves and fabrics with hand operated shuttle looms, an innovation new to the region, and perfectly adapted to a village enterprise. These looms, which are imported from India, are highly efficient and represent an intermediate technology brought over from England during the Industrial Revolution.

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 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.