Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Filling the void.......

It was around August when I realized that while we were making good progress in our latest experiment, it would take at least nine and possibly twelve months to complete it, and not two or three as I naively estimated at the outset. Up till that point, besides spinning of yarn, we put most of our production work on hold, but the clock was ticking and fall and winter, generally our busiest seasons, were approaching. With a certain amount of disappointment we carefully packaged and labeled all the yarns and filed them away in large metal boxes, with the hope of reopening them in two or three years. At this point we are about 20% into this massive experiment, so there is still quite a bit of work left. The bright side of all this is that all the mordanting work has been completed, so when we do restart we will be working with well aged yarn.

At the same time it also became evident that while all of this experimental work was very useful and important, it was financially jeopardizing everything that we have accomplished over the last few years, and placing lots of stress on all the members of our outfit. At this point we had no choice and had to shut down the dyeing and go back to weaving and knitting of our undyed, handspun fibers. Of course we were hopelessly behind schedule and did not complete our shipment till mid December, losing four main months of the season. It was also too late for shows, of which we only had one (albeit extremely successful and more importantly encouraging) in Switzerland this year. Yet somehow at the end of the day our old clients carried us over with new orders and support, and etsy and ebay also kicked in, making up for my naivety, obsession and lack of planning. A warm hearted thank you to everyone!

Pictured below you will find some fruits of those efforts... So please visit and take a look: Fromsilkroad on Etsy. They are all very fine pieces and some are quite dyeable as well...

First of all, our yarns, our foundation so to speak, there are only a few of them left on Etsy but we do have lots of white hanspun angora in our studio. The knitting yarn is all three-ply and ranges from lace to medium. I also have single and two-ply weft and warp weaving yarn, but please keep in mind that it is more delicate than the commercial spun yarns, and for most weavers will be harder to work with. If anyone is interested please email me to

Here are some of the woven articles. Mainly handspun angoras, which are absolutely gorgeous and can compete with any pashmina shawl. ( I don't think the pictures due them justice.) There are also a few pieces of handspun cashmere left, and some mill spun cashmere. Due to the fact that we always sell out of our hanspun cashmere,  and at times experience back-orders and sourcing problems for the Ladakhi fibers (my personal favorite), last year we have decided to include a few mill-spun pieces.

And finally our knitted products, which have turned out to be so popular....but there are still a few left on Etsy and we will be making many more this year, hopefully dyed this time.....

I am happy to say that after a trying year we are still standing, and feel that we have learned something last year and will approach this year's production with more focus and reverence. I am coming back to the Kullu Valley in a few days to open up the studio after the winter break. April might get a bit boring from the blogging perspective, since at first we will be mordanting the large quantity of handspun yarn that has accumulated during the course of last year and this winter. But who knows, interesting things might come up so please stay tuned for natural fibers, spinning, weaving, knitting and finally production dyeing...I promise...
There should also be a few interlaced postings on other artisans as well, when I get around to them....

Dominique will be joining us in May. She has spent the last few months in the states with Alex, Rachael, Tristan and our little granddaughter Eloise...what a cutie!

For some strange reason this picture reminds me of Luke, the princess and Yoda....


  1. keep up the good work you lovely people x

  2. thanks guy,
    i read bits and pieces about your voyage.
    that was very nice.
    all best, j