LIGHT AS AIR

Aptly named Vayu (which means air in Hindi), we are happy to announce our new ultra light cashmere scarf. It is hand woven to order in Nepal with over 2000 cashmere strands from Inner Mongolia. I’ve never seen such intricate weaving and love its translucency and flow. 

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As if this wasn’t enough of a feat, we decided to take it further. These beauties are part of our Natural Color Initiative. The goal: Revive this region’s rich natural dyeing tradition which has been passed down through the generations, but now is in serious decline. To this end, we worked with Master Colorist Rakesh to reopen his natural dyeing facilities (which had closed 4 years prior due to lack of demand) and the results are spectacular. Natural dyes provide a much richer tone than their chemical imitators and he can create anything from striking red to jet black to intense indigo.

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For a limited time, we are offering the opportunity to make your own custom colored scarf which is hand tinted using natural dyes made of herbs, plants, nuts, fruits, etc.

Create your very own VAYU CUSTOM CASHMERE SCARF.

#himalayanjourney #Nepal #cashmere #chyangragoat #travel #wanderlust #limitededition #artisanmade


COLOR ME NATURAL

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Part art, part science, natural colors are achieved with a precise recipe and protocol.

For example—to make black, a mixture of hirakashi, rajdikshya, and harro is ground, measured and boiled with a natural fixer. The textile is then dipped into the pot, stirred for a set amount of time, and removed. Ground indigo is added and it is continually submerged and exposed to air until the desired shade is achieved.

It’s definitely a lot of effort, but the results are worth it!

#Himalayanjourney #Nepal #travel #wanderlust #naturaldyes #cashmere #artisanmade


Yakety Yak…

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So my newest infatuation is yak!!! The animals themselves are incredible and an integral part of high-altitude Himalayan living. They provide sustenance, transportation, and their fiber is used in everything from rugs to blankets to shawls. Just as the Chyangra goats have incredibly soft and warm undercoats that are turned into cashmere, so do the yaks. 

I’m using yak cashmere that is hand spun in Tibet and then hand woven in Nepal to create a limited edition of throws. Stay tuned for pictures of the gorgeous pieces!!

#Himalayanjourney #Tibet #highaltitude #travel #wanderlust 


Cashmere 101

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During this trip, I’ve learned so much about cashmere. I’ve always loved its cozy softness and warmth, but now I have a newfound respect for what goes into creating it. 

To get an education, I sat down with Kamal who is local cashmere expert. He proceeded to give me the background over an afternoon Nepali chai. 

Cashmere is a very specific thing. It comes from the inner coat of the coveted high mountain Chyangra goat (found above 3000 meters). The softest fiber usually comes from the neck area or underbelly and measures between 13-16 microns in diameter. 

The fiber is collected in spring when the goats are molting. A comb is run through the coat (fleece) and the tufts of hair removed. They are then sorted and any course outer fur removed before being washed and carded. Finally, the cashmere is spun and when done well, the results are heavenly. 

We are working on a number of limited-edition cashmere collaborations for both spring and fall and will keep you posted on our progress. 

#himalayanjourney #cashmere #limitededition #chyangragoat #travel #wanderlust #soulfuleconomy


Roses Are Red…

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I’m thrilled to be working on a palette of colors using dyes made up completely of herbs, plants, shells, etc. Within the Himalayas, there is a rich heritage of natural dyeing. Examples can be found in everything from every day village attire and functional textiles to elaborate festival and religious items.

Unfortunately this art form is close to completely disappearing here in Nepal. Most artisans have abandoned their practice because of a lack of demand. Their clients are asking for faster and cheaper coloring techniques that only can be achieved by using chemicals. I hope to help change this. Our project reverses a four year hiatus for the group with whom we are collaborating!

We’ve managed to get a whole range of beautiful colors made completely from natural means. I love watching Rakesh (the master dyer) turn things like walnut shells, pomegranate skins, or local roots into stunning colors. 

In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, he made this gorgeous red swatch. Stay tuned for all of our other colors. We’re working on an assortment of earthy browns and tans to vibrant indigo blues. It seems like there isn’t anything that Rakesh can’t create naturally.

#himalayanjourney #nepal #artisan #travel #wanderlust #naturaldyes #soulfuleconomy


A Family Affair

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I’m sitting with Bhisma Maya who is eighty and one of the most skilled hand spinners that I have ever seen. She and her son are working on creating a hand-spun + hand-woven cotton tapestry that Perloo (an amazing Tibetan designer) and I are turning into spring bags.

She spins and he weaves. Below are the gorgeous results.

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#Himalayanjourney #Nepal #wanderlust #traveldeeper #handspinning #handweaving #soulfuleconomy


Salt Of The Earth

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I’m a long time fan of using Himalayan sea salt to season food, but since arriving here I’ve found that these beautiful pink crystals offer so much more.

They are hand mined from ancient sea deposits and are believed to be the purest form of salt available with over eighty different minerals. They boast a slew of therapeutic qualities including: increasing circulation, promoting relaxation, lowering blood pressure, helping with asthma and skin issues, soothing sore muscles, and removing toxins from the body. 

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In addition to eating and bathing with salt, it is said that one can also find benefits from simply breathing in proximity to it. I decided to test this theory out for myself and visited the newly opened Dwarika’s Spa in the hills above Kathmandu. Above is a picture of their custom Himalayan salt room. By the time my treatment was over, I was a convert. Hanging out there definitely did calm the nerves and soothed the senses. Not too shabby for some little pink stones. Upon returning to Kathmandu, I made my way down to the local market to buy some of my own supply for future use.

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#Himalayanjourney #Nepal #wanderlust #traveldeeper #salt #naturalremedies


Stripes, Stripes, and More Stripes

I have a new infatuation. Vintage hand woven, naturally dyed wool aprons that are skillfully wrapped around Tibetan women’s waists. Wearing one indicates not only that they are married, but also from which village they live based on the stripe colors and patterns. 

I’m taking these pieces and working with a local tailor to create large floor cushions. Each is one-of-a-kind. Stay tuned…

#Himalayanjourney #Nepal #Tibetan #handwoven #natural 


The Mother of All Tasting Menus

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As it happens, the Newari people love elaborate meals. During festivals, they have a whopping 84 courses of small and tasty morsels. To get a first hand look (or taste), I went to a 200 year old Newari home turned restaurant with my friend Pujan who is the owner’s cousin. We opted for a paired down menu of his favorite twelve plates and proceeded to feast away. The variety of ingredients and sophisticated flavor was an unexpected treat. They had everything from musha (soy beans seasoned with ginger) to baudel (wild boar with a spiced tomato dipping sauce). 

#Himalayanjourney #Nepal #wanderlust #tastingmenu


SING TO ME

While there is still much mystery around the original use for “standing bells,” I learned of evidence that indicated their existence in the pre-Buddhist Tibetan Bon culture.

Intrigued, I decided to meet with Shree who has dedicated his life to the art of Tibetan singing bowl healing. It was magical to feel the different vibrations that emanated from these hand-pounded antique pieces. He explained that each bowl had its own formula of melded medals which could include everything from bronze, gold, and silver to the highly sought after meteoric iron called “sky metal” or thogcha. After this very informative explanation period we got down to business and he helped me find bowls that not only sounded wonderful, but also were aligned around my chakras! 

#Himalayanjourney #Nepal #wanderlust #Buddhist #singingbowls


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From The Road was born out of a love for off-the-grid travel and a desire to create irresistible objects with soul. Each collaboration starts with a conversation and ends with a conversation piece.