Polynesian objects from early European exploration, £19.99
Length: 61.000 cm
Width: 149.000 cm (across arms)
Gift of Susi Dunsmore
Africa, Oceania, Americas
Nettle fibre jacket
From Nepal, 20th century AD
The Himalayan mountain nettle (known locally as allo) provides a fibre which people in the region of Sankhuwasabha in Nepal use to make cloth, mats, bags, fishing-nets and other items. The Rai people in particular use nettle fibre textiles for clothing and display. They also exchange them at local markets for other goods.
This kind of jacket
was worn by men, women and children. The cloth is only woven by
women. This example is made with a
The production of allo cloth in Sankhuwasabha has developed rapidly since the 1980s. Through participation in a rural development programme, the weavers were introduced to new techniques and equipment, which they have since developed through their extensive knowledge of the material. For example, a combination of wool and allo yarns has been used to produce a warm and sturdy tweed much used locally, while smaller items combining cotton yarns and using traditional patterns are regularly produced for visitors and tourists.
S. Dunsmore, Nepalese textiles (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)