Goldfinch Blankets

Goldfinch Goes Global

Megan Johansson, contributor for Goldfinch Modern Textile Craft

Sourcing the finest craftsmanship for our Goldfinch custom fabric means we don’t rely on factory-made textiles from automated factories. Instead, our hand woven textiles come directly from a group of skilled workers in Kathmandu, Nepal whose dedication to the weaving process is unparalleled.

Employing global workers has its challenges – especially given that we are halfway across the world from one another. Sometimes specifications or product requirements get lost in translation, and we often have to be available to clarify instructions or questions in the middle of the night due to the time difference. Employing global workers means that nearly everything between our studio and Nepal is conducted via email and text because the distance is too great to allow for frequent site visits to supervise, answer questions, check colors and other details. And though the product delivery time is much slower due to the long process required of handwork, it’s something we wouldn’t trade for the world.

You see, with partnership on global textiles, there are many benefits. We’re able to order small and exclusive quantities (as opposed to larger orders required from automated factories), and we get high quality hand woven fabric of the perfectly-imperfect type. Because of the lower, but fair, Nepali wages, we’re able to offer these beautiful textile creations at affordable prices for our Goldfinch customers – all the while knowing we are helping to provide a sustainable and improving lifestyle to the people we work with. The well-being of our global partners always takes priority in our work.

Beyond that, though, Nepal is a one-of-a-kind place that has a special spot in our hearts. Travel to this exotic locale is an important personal challenge, as well as inspiring, stimulating, and educational. Since we began a partnership on our custom designs with this dedicated group of weavers in 2013, we have built wonderful relationships, and our visits to Nepal mean getting the chance to visit dear and respected friends. 

So, who are these incredibly skilled workers? Meet some of our weaving partners:

Shiva, the Workshop Owner No aspect of the global textile production process goes unnoticed by Shiva. He is incredibly dedicated to his operation and typically works very long days to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

 Shiva jumps in to iron a Namibia Linen Throw before packing.

Shiva jumps in to iron a Namibia Linen Throw before packing.

Tika, the Wife of the Workshop Owner Recently, Shiva was able to add a new floor to his family’s home thanks to his hard work, and his wife Tika now has her own rooftop kitchen and garden, complete with solar heating for the home’s hot water. “Happy wife, happy life,” indeed!

 Tika on the rooftop surrounded by her beloved flower garden

Tika on the rooftop surrounded by her beloved flower garden

 The new rooftop patio before Tika installed her flowers

The new rooftop patio before Tika installed her flowers

 A new rooftop solar system collects the Nepali sun to produce hot water

A new rooftop solar system collects the Nepali sun to produce hot water

Sushil, the Workshop Owner’s Son Shiva and Tika’s son, Sushil, had his first modeling experience during our recent visit to Nepal--we needed a handsome dude for some scarf photos, and he was the perfect fit!

 Sushil modelling our Red Line Scarf in front of a fantastic neighborhood gate

Sushil modelling our Red Line Scarf in front of a fantastic neighborhood gate

Kisor & Padam Daas, Weavers Brothers originally from India, they come to Nepal to weave as there is often not enough steady work for their extensive skills in their Indian village. Always sticking together, they take on jobs as a pair and are quiet, steady, and patient while weaving. Though they don’t speak a word of English, they are the highly valued nucleus of the hand weaving operation.

 In this photo, Kisor (seated) and Padam share a light moment while preparing the warp.

In this photo, Kisor (seated) and Padam share a light moment while preparing the warp.

Ganga, Knitting Department Master Ganga takes immense pride in his work, and he reads English better than he speaks it. Because he has to understand the instructions and drawings sent to him by international clients, this is a must. But during our visit to Nepal, we encouraged him to practice spoken English, and by the end of our visit (during which we had several wonderful conversations), he told us he felt much more confident doing so.

 Ganga at his work table

Ganga at his work table

Sobha Karki and Asha Rai, Handcrafters These women are an incredibly valuable pair, moving around the workshop to perform many different tasks throughout the hand production process. Here they're pictured (first photo) making skeins for dyeing and (second photo) hand-crafting linen tassels. During particularly busy times, they are joined by other women with similar skills in the finishing department, where their fine work includes fringing, embroidery, making tassels, and adding other details to the finished custom fabric pieces. Their exceptional skills help them to provide a steady flow of income to their families.

 Sobha and Asha lend their hands to prepare yarn skeins for dyeing

Sobha and Asha lend their hands to prepare yarn skeins for dyeing

 Making linen tassels

Making linen tassels

 Sobha's completed handiwork

Sobha's completed handiwork

Workshop Visitors Oftentimes the children of the workers visit the workshop, watching their mothers’ dedication to the craft each and every day. Here, a group of adorable neighborhood girls pose in front of the workshop. Perhaps one day they'll become the next generation of future skilled workers who will continue to create fine handcrafted products from Nepal!

 Just look at these sweet faces!

Just look at these sweet faces!

At Goldfinch, we're proud to partner with such skilled individuals, and look forward to working together with them in Kathmandu on future design collaborations. Hand woven with great attention to detail and using only natural fibers, every one of our custom textiles is made exclusively for you--and we wouldn’t have it any other way.