By: Urmila Shrestha, Product leader – WAWCAS Craft
With original patterns, WAWCAS women from both Kathmandu and Lamjung are producing pillow covers, circle mats, hemp gloves, tablemats, bed covers, shawls, toilet and pencil kit bags, and mobile purses etc.
I am responsible for training and supervising the women, for quality control and for developing new products and finding good materials for the women.
The focus is very much on the quality of the products, and we help the women to find customers and places to sell their products in Nepal, but we also help them in finding customers in Denmark. At the moment, the Craft Sisters shop in Copenhagen and Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus are selling some of the women’s products.
Some of the products that the WAWCAS women produce
The pillow covers are made by the women living in Lamjung. The women make them by weaving on small looms in their homes, and the finishing part is done by the WAWCAS women living in Kathmandu, who owns sewing machines. We encourage the women to develop their own patterns and designs so that they weave according to their own creativity.
The material used is 100% merino yarn, which is very soft. From this autumn the women will also start making the pillow covers in cotton fabric.
These products are developed with support from Lis Beck, owner of Craft Sisters in Copenhagen. She is also selling the products in her shop.
Circle mats are knitted by the women from Kathmandu.
The fabric used to make the mats are old saries.
The glove is very useful for scrubbing while bathing. It is made by 100% raw hemp thread and knitted by the women from both Kathmandu and Lamjung.
Toilet kit bags:
Toilet kits bags are very useful, portable and easy to carry toiletries in. The toilet kits bags are woven by the women in the Lamjung, and are made of cotton thread in a beautiful creative designs. The inside of the bag is made with a waterproof fabric, which helps to protect the items it carries.
Some of the benefits of the WAWCAS Craft project are
– Improvement in women’s life style as they are earning money by utilizing their creativity and talent.
– Optimization of the women’s use of time, working at home with flexible time schedule to produce handicraft products, or as a sidebusiness.
– Good response about the product from the customer (Internationally and locally)
– Ability to gain knowledge about new product as we get new ideas from Denmark and feedback from customers.
– Competitive rate in the local market: The women must make something special or make it in a very good quality to differentiate their products in the local market. Still there is a big price competition.
– Circle mats: The material cost for a circle mat is high. Each woman has to cut the saries manually and it takes a lot of time to knit, which makes it difficult to keep the price down.
– Pillow covers: The woolen pillow covers are too expensive for the local market. We are developing them now in cotton too.