From the Kingdom at the Top of the World
From the fluttering Buddhist prayer flags that fly from the spire of the Swayambhunath stupa (and seemingly everywhere else in Katmandu) to the incredibly detailed thangka scroll paintings to the richly woven cotton and pashima shawls worn by Nepalese women, the Kingdom of Nepal is a colorful and festive feast for the eyes.
And locked away as this magical country was for centuries, the ancient techniques and traditions of clothing, fabrics, and embroidery have survived nearly intact from Western influences and have retained their distinctive character and charm.
The Colorful Fabrics of Nepal
Orvis representatives traveled to Nepal to see firsthand the culture whose trademark fabrics and designs have become an integral part of our clothing collection. In Katmandu, we visited a Nepalese workshop where tailors meticulously sewed garments on pedal-powered treadle machines. And from the crowded markets of Thamel to the remote mountain villages above Pokhara, we found the handiwork of these fabrics in everyday use.
Just as the ancient temples are not museum pieces, but are integrated into everyday life in Nepal, so, too, are the beautiful fabrics. We met village women wearing trapunto quilted tops in the upper elevations. On the streets of Patan, Kathmandu, and in every square in between, the brightly colored embroidered cotton shawls never failed to impress with their beauty. Fine examples of trapunto quilting can be appreciated Orvis women's trapunted quilted jackets and vests.
Beauty and Functionality: The Exquisite Fashion of Quilted Trapunto Fabrics
In this vertical country, the seasons do eventually turn cooler. The exquisite trapunto quilted Nepalese clothing was developed originally to bring warmth to men’s cotton shirts. The quilted patterns found on Orvis trapunto clothing comes from an early design that has been revived as a modern design element.
A visit to Nepal, home to the most incredible walking trails in the world, is not complete without a trek. Orvis representatives, accompanied by porters, kitchen staff, and a Sherpa guide, Dawa (Sherpa guides are named after the days of the week. “Dawa’ is Monday), trekked up into the middle mountains in the shadow of the Annapurnas where some of the most intricate and patterned fabrics can be found.
The West is still discovering the treasures of Nepalese craftsmanship and clothing. Through our travels to this fascinating country, Orvis is bringing the richness and tradition of this kingdom’s most spectacular woven and embroidered products to our customers around the world.