Lyk Carpets are small miracles of nature. Their secret? The interaction between high quality raw materials and excellent manual handicraft. The result? Carpets made from pure, plant-based dyed highland wool – without a single drop of chemical agents that could interfere with the carpet quality. Each carpet is hand made and produced in the course of fair trade with a Tibetan workshop in Nepal where the carpet industry plays a major economical and social role. The carpet industry produces a significant percentage of Nepalese exports. Many people make their living as weavers or dyers and depend heavily on the carpet industry. Among them are a lot of migrant workers who support their families in less developed regions of Nepal with their incomes.
True miracles made from warm wool
Lyk Carpets are made from Tibetian highland wool, one of the highest quality wools available. The reason for this is the sheep who live under extreme conditions and temperature changes in the Himalayan highlands. They develop much longer wool fibres and thick underwool containing high lanolin concentration and thus make sure that the carpets are robust and warm.
In Pockhara, a town north of Kathmandu, the wool gets pre-sorted according to its natural colour, then carded and spun, so that only the high quality long fibres are processed. Spun wool of this quality is well suited for the process of natural dyeing. The fibres will not only be coated by the dyes but penetrated right through to the core. As a consequence Lyk Carpets are colour intensive and don’t fade. After sorting, all the following steps in the production process such as for example dyeing, knotting and the final washing of the carpets take place in the workshop in Kathmandu Valley.
A handful of plants for a sea of natural colours
Various influences on the dyeing process lead to individual colours and shades. The lanolin content and the original colour of the wool – whether blonde or brown – as well as the outside temperature play an important role. Thus new shades of colours are created again and again, giving each carpet an individual character. A handful of plants, roots and bark are enough to create the 70 Lyk Carpet colours.