Our love affair with natural fibers started 20 years ago with organic cotton, and we still adore it. But these days we're branching out, giving linen, alpaca, wool and other fibers a place in our hearts (and in our product offerings). Our newest passion is for the blend of New Zealand wool and cashmere that makes our Olema and Inverness blankets so soft and cozy, with such luscious drape. Not only are these blankets among the most luxurious we've ever carried, they're crafted in Nepal by a small, environmentally friendly manufacturer who is a member of Fair Trade Group Nepal and has a waste water treatment plant in their facility. The facility contributes towards the local community by helping to fund drinking water and road construction projects.
Wool from New Zealand sheep is widely considered to be one of the finest, silkiest sheep's wool. It's an amazing natural insulator, trapping heat in its fibers and wicking moisture away to keep you warm and comfortable. Nearly as soft as cashmere, it's flatter and more dense, qualities that make it more durable as well.
Cashmere's superfine, hollow strands make it among the softest and warmest (per ounce) natural fibers in the world. It comes from goats native to Tibet, China and other parts of Asia. Unlike sheep, which are sheared to collect their wool, these goats are carefully combed, to gather just their fine, downy winter undercoat, leaving the more coarse year-round coat behind. This painstaking process is why cashmere is so rare and precious.
In combination, these two phenomenal fibers create blankets that are warm yet light, meltingly soft yet durable, suitable for any season, and so beautiful you'll want to leave them draped across the bed or over the sofa year round.
In a small workshop in Nepal, artisans dye the fine-spun yarns of blended cashmere and New Zealand wool with eco-friendly azo-free pigments, then thread them onto the heddles of a shuttle loom. Each heddle controls a single yarn, lifting and lowering it in an intricate choreography as the shuttle draws the weft yarn back and forth to create the weave of each blanket. Some 1300 heddles are threaded to create our Olema blanket's textural basketweave squares, and Inverness's dappled four-color weave requires an astounding 1650 heddles.
We're truly in awe of the skill and time that go into these blankets, and proud to partner with a company that shares our values when it comes to both the planet and the people that call it home.
Gorgeous blankets made from the highest quality natural fibers by an eco-conscious, artisan-centered company. That's what we call a warm and fuzzy story.