This design is adapted from the Thebvora, a classic Chakhesang Naga nettle shawl - and a hallmark of the timeless and self-sustaining Naga lifestyle. Thebvo literally translates to 'nettle' in the language of the Chakhesang Khuzhami tribe. Made of hand-picked, hand spun and hand woven stinging nettle, this wear-resistant and waterproof nettle cloth is perfect for the contemporary dining table. The minimal black stripe is a key design element, unique to the Leshemi identity, and highlights their restrained aesthetic.
Today, the weaving of stinging nettle is increasingly rare and is only done by indigenous women of the Chakhesang tribe in remote Naga villages in the mountains of Northeast India. In a long and laborious process, strips of nettle bast fiber (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. The fiber-to-fabric journey is entirely local and self-sustaining (although the cotton yarn, once local, is now sourced). The natural black dye for the center stripe is a completely local recipe: the cotton yarn is mordanted in tannin-rich bark (locally sourced from the barks of wild hazelnut, walnut and oak trees) which is then soaked in dark iron-rich paddy field clay. The yarn is then warped and prepared for the back-strap loom alternating cotton yarn in the warp and weft.
Locally foraged and hand-spun stinging nettle (urtica dioica), unbleached and naturally dyed cotton
Table Runner: 12in X 60in, Table Mat: 12in X 18in
Table Runner: 31cm x 152cm, Table Mat: 31cm x 46cm
Please note that the natural colors of nettle and natural dyed 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.
All our products are meticulously handmade by master artisans one piece at a time. Due to this process, there may be a variation from one item to the next. Such variations are inherent in the manufacturing of handmade products, so you may expect minor distinctions that will make your purchase special and truly one of a kind.
Please note that this item is handmade to order. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. Dispatched within 55 days of receiving your order. No refunds or returns.