Steps from the hemp to the collection creation
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Manufacturing behind the scenes

Steps from the hemp to the collection creation

The BHANGARA collection conceives fashion from an ethical point of view. Designed to highlight hemp fabrics, it´s the result of close collaboration between designers and craftsmen. Let's discover how the genesis of our range of ecological bags and accessories takes place.

Sketch our collection

Draw what we have in mind, decide how many different models we will make, then, how many we´ll make of each different and beautiful colour available. Study the shape of each one, the ideal size, apply the feedback of our customers on our past collections. Imagine the final product, wait impatiently for the creation of the first prototype until we finally see the result. At this exciting stage the aim is to create comfortable, practical and innovative bags and accessories using the countless combinations allowed by bhangara, the traditional Nepalese hemp fabric.

Once the models have been drawn, we prepare the pieces that will join the final puzzle. The first patterns are made of cardboard and show all the necessary pieces required for the bags. Quite often, we have to make modifications when the first prototype comes out, since once the draft design is cut out and assembled into a preliminary prototype, it often reveals technical difficulties in sewing the pieces and the result is not as we expected. When the parts are sewn together and the size and measurements and finishing of the piece has totally convinced us, the correct final parts of the pattern are traced onto metal templates.

Spinning, weaving and transportation of hemp

Nepalese hemp goes through the most diverse means of transport to arrive from the Bajura and Bajhang mountainous regions, where it is grown. These districts are located in the extreme west of the country. Their geographical remoteness is accentuated by the nature of Nepal's roads, which are affected by snow at high altitude during the dry season, and by monsoon rains that seriously damage them, in the wet season. The transport to Kathmandu, in the centre of the country, takes between 6 and 7 days.

Some Nepalese hemp growers send it in balls or skeins. In this case, the spun hemp is woven in the valley on mechanical looms that operate without electricity. The rolls or looms of hemp woven in this way are 75 cm wide and can be between 30 and 50 metres long

Other producers send the hemp already woven in the mountains in the traditional way. This type of Himalayan hemp deserves a special mention since, for its weaving, women use rudimentary looms, using their waist as a measurement. Its width is thus proportional to the waist of each weaver and can vary between 25 and 50 cm wide,  reaching a maximum of about 3 m in length. More importantly, its tight and smooth texture is distinguishable both to the eye and to the touch from hemp woven with power looms in the Kathmandu Valley. In our product descriptions, we call this type of hemp "from the Himalayas".

Cutting the hemp cloth

Spread over 3- or 4-meter flaps, the 50-meter long Kathmandu woven fabrics completely cover the endless tables in the workshops. To avoid wasting fabric, it takes at least two people to accurately fold the pleats over each other first. Different layers of fabric arranged in this way can be simultaneously cut according to patterns -up to 20 accumulated layers- if they are positioned correctly.

Assembling the puzzle

Then comes the final stage that will lead to each model: making the pockets, joining each exterior to its lining, adding zippers, labels, and then joining these parts together. The most sensitive seams, those that join the handles of the backpacks or the strap of the bag, are finished off with a special sewing machine and thread. Their laughter and conversations are constant, but they do not interfere with their concentration and their work is meticulous.

After covering the interior seams of the piece, the assembly of the bag comes to an end and can finally be turned around, finally revealing the finished result of much effort and work. The handbags, backpackstobacco pouches and purses obtained, are unique and made to last.

Find more photos, videos and explanations in our stories on Instagram.