Discover how we produce our textiles.
The first members of our supply chain are our farmers, who pick our cotton at Lake Chamo, in the lowlands of Arba Minch.
The organic cotton farm is only 10 km away from our workshop and pays special attention to eco-friendly, water-saving work processes.
In the second step, the cotton is prepared for further processes, such as weaving, dyeing and winding.
Our cotton spinners Abebech, Shamame, Zeritu, Emama, Aster and Almaz are mostly working with the drop spindle when spinning the cotton, an ancient tool that has a long tradition in Ethiopia.
It’s getting colorful. To enhance our yarns its unique colors we are using natural dyes out of local plants and fruits such as avocado, eucalyptus, onions and mango, and non-harmful chemical dyes we source from a Swiss company called CHT Switzerland AG.
Our dye masters Tariku Tesfaye and Meskeram Gabisa have great knowledge of color compositions and create the beautiful blends we need for our production.
Kalante is one of the women, responsible for the winding. Cautiously she is preparing the bobbin for the shuttle which creates the weft.
The fifth step is about the high art of weaving. The looms and tools with which the weavers work are made of collected bamboo and eucalyptus branches, the same way as 2000 years ago.
Weaving happens in many small steps and requires lots of dedication, patience and time. One of our weavers Mengistu explains that a scarf takes a whole day in production, a poncho two and a blanket even three days.
Work at Home
We have outsourced part of our production to artisans who work from home. In this way our artisans can be present for their families and work on the ancient looms their forefathers already have worked with.
Finally, all textiles arrive at the workshop. Here they are washed, dried and undergo a final quality control before they start their journey.
Only the most experienced employees of Shimena are given the task to do the quality check. Their cautious eyes make sure, that each product perfectly matches the expectations of our customers and represents our brand in quality.