India, Leshemi Origins/ Artisans' Gallery, Thebvo Coaster Set
Set of 6 nettle coasters
Thebvo means stinging nettle in the language of the Chakhesang Khuzhami Naga tribe. This design is based on the traditional Thebvora shawl, and is made of hand spun and hand woven stinging nettle. Nettle is a sturdy and waterproof utilitarian cloth, perfect for a coaster. The nettle shawl is increasingly rare, and new ones are reserved for ceremonial occasions.
This product is contemporary, and is exclusively designed and woven by Leshemi Origins for ARTISANS' Gallery, to sustain the local tradition of nettle weaving. It is woven by indigenous women of the Chakhesang tribe in a remote Naga village in the mountains of Northeast India, on back strap looms.
The minimal black stripe is a key design element, unique to the Leshemi identity, and is retained in this adaptation.The natural black dye is a completely local recipe: the cotton yarn is mordanted in tannin-rich bark (locally sourced from the wild hazelnut, walnut and oak trees) which is then soaked in iron-rich paddy field clay. The spinning and weaving of stinging nettle is increasingly rare. Stinging nettle is foraged from the wild once a year, in early winter. In a long and laborious process, strips of nettle bast fibre (stripped off the stalks), are retted, dried, thigh-reeled into twine, and hand-spun using a drop spindle. The yarn is then soaked in a coarse local rice broth, which naturally bleaches and softens the fiber. It is repeatedly soaked and sun-dried until the desired tone is attained. It is woven on backstrap looms. The flexibility of the portable loom enables women to work from their own home. This fiber-to-fabric journey is entirely local and self-sustaining (although the cotton yarn, once local, is now sourced).
Local legend has it that nettle weaving originated in the village that is home to Leshemi Origins.
Disclaimer and Care Instructions: Please note that the natural colors of nettle textiles are unique and may vary a bit from item to item. Wash nettle fabrics by hand in cold water, using ecological laundry products. Nettle softens with washing.
Maker: Kekuwe-ü Lomi
Size: 13cm X 13cm
Fabric: Hand spun stinging nettle (Urtica Dioica), unbleached cotton and Eri silk blend, natural dyed black cotton
These items are made to order.
Available to dispatch in 55 days