Fair Trade Commitment
Elk & Earth is dedicated to maintaining the artistry and history of these rugs and cushions. As such we only engage in fair trade practices that support the local community. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure we only supply our customers with the best quality products. Thus we offer a 100% complete satisfaction guarantee. Please let us know if you are not completely happy with your purchase.
How our products are made
Every rug, cushion, garland or bowl that is ordered from Elk & Earth is handmade by artisans from Kathmandu, Nepal. We are proud that in working with our carefully selected suppliers, they are providing gainful employment in a struggling economy, giving their workers (often women, who struggle the most to find long term employment) the opportunity to earn a good living, work normal hours each day and earn a salary which is about 2 times the average pay in Nepal. As a result, family and friends work alongside each other in a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere.
Felt making is an ancient tradition in the Himalayas and Mongolia, where almost anything and everything was made from the natural fibres of animals to provide warm and comfort. Clothing, shoes and even huts were made from roughly hewn felt of yaks and cattle.
Nowadays, these methods have been refined to an art form where Nepalese women gently dye and roll the wet wool of sheep using a soapy surface to cause the woolen fibres to open and then link together forming a nearly unbreakable bond. Once the wool begins to shrink it settles into its new shape.
Once this is complete, they then put the wool into cold water and rinse it. This intensive treatment is repeated several times creating our unique products. Once the felt is sun-dried, they are ready for the next step: sewing the products together! This takes a considerable amount of time, as in the case of a felt ball rug, this is a quite difficult and precise process. The amount of work it takes to make just one rug is truly incredible as each large felt ball rug consists of thousands of small felted balls! No two pieces are identical!