India, Leshemi Origins | ARTISANS' Sustainable Development Foundation, Thebvo Sling Bag
Product name: Thebvo Sling Bag
Type of product: Sling Bag
Description (story of the item):
This design is based on the Thebvora, a classic Chakhesang Naga nettle shawl - and a hallmark of the timeless and self-sustaining Naga lifestyle. Thebvo literally means 'nettle' in the language of the Chakhesang Khuzhami tribe.
This is made from a single piece of uncut cloth adapted to a contemporary hands-free sling bag, of handpicked hand spun stinging nettle, woven on a back strap loom.
The wear-resistant and waterproof nettle cloth is perfect for a sturdy hands-free sling bag. True to the self-sustaining village economy, each bag is entirely handmade, local and zero-waste – right down to the hand-sewn seams that use decorative finishing stitches, and the hand carved wooden button.
Stinging nettle is foraged from the wild once a year, in early winter. In a long and laborious process, strips of nettle 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 fibre. It is repeatedly washed and sun-dried until the desired colour is attained.
The minimal black stripe, a key design element is retained for its restrained aesthetic and unique identity. The natural black dye is a completely local recipe: the cotton yarn is dyed with a mordant of tannin-rich bark (locally sourced from the wild hazelnut, walnut and oak trees), which is then soaked in iron-rich paddy field clay.
The flexibility of the portable loom enables women to work from home. The fibre-to-fabric journey is entirely local and self-sustaining (although the cotton yarn, once local, is now sourced).
This bag is co-designed and woven by indigenous women of the Chakhesang tribe in Nagaland, Northeast India, exclusively for ARTISANS’ Gallery.
Care Instructions: Dry clean or wash by hand in cold water
Disclaimer: Please note that the natural colours of nettle and decorative extra weft designs are unique and may vary from item to item.
Materials: Hand spun stinging nettle (Urtica Dioica), cotton, and natural dyed cotton, with a locally made wooden button.
Measurements / size: Body: 25 cm X 20 cm, Total length including strap: 100 cm
Availability / stock level: On order (Dispatch time is 60 days)