Wednesday, November 2, 2016

All Things Felt: Heartfelt crafts from Nepal (and our cosy corner)

We have an attic, which is currently serving as our homeschooling room. Usually I try to school Junior J and Lil J together at their desks, while the younger two are playing at the side. I've been trying to make the play area cosy for the little ones, so recently I set up a little corner for the kids.

The tent was a lightweight one that I purchased months back from Cotton On Kids, while the cushion was from Typo. I planned to get a rug for that area, since it makes it so much more comfortable for the kids, especially the baby who is crawling and sometimes still topples over. I am not a fan of foam playmats, and the younger kids tend to yank at the pile on carpets, so both were a no-no for me. I happened to chance across these gorgeous felt ball rugs over at All Things Felt while browsing Instagram, and decided that this was IT.  

I contacted Divya to find out more about those lovely rugs in her little shop. Divya hails from Nepal but is currently staying in Singapore. Her story was a most heart-warming one: All Things Felt was set up in the wake of the Nepal earthquake in 2015, to share the beauty of handmade felt products. Her business seeks to empower women by preserving these artisanal skills, while providing work for them.

Source: All Things Felt FB page

Her shop stocks various felt products, ranging from garlands, wreaths (perfect for the upcoming festive season), to puppets and baby mobiles. However, the felt ball rugs are probably the stars in the shop, as you can customize them into any colour combination you want, and there is a huge range of colours to choose from.

Source: All Things Felt FB page

Imagine the possibilities! 

Source: All Things Felt FB page

Source: All Things Felt FB page

I chose my colours with some advice from Divya. She informed me that it would take 3 weeks or so to make the rug, as the process is a long and tedious one. I was happy to wait (but do note the production time if you are thinking of ordering one as a gift for Christmas!), and the wait was worthwhile because it came exactly as how I pictured it. 

I love the colours, and how wonderfully textured and inviting this rug is to little hands. The felt balls are sewn securely together, and this rug is very comfortable. The baby loves sitting here to play, and it is reassuring to know that the dyes that are used to colour the felt are non-toxic. 

This rug doesn't slip easily since it is heavy. However, if you find that it does slide about, using a non-slip layer underneath solves the problem. I was a little alarmed initially, as I noticed that there was a fine layer of dust under the rug each time I lifted it. However, Divya reassured me that this was just soap silt from the felt-making process, and that this problem resolves with time. And indeed, there is no more dust underneath, now that the rug has been laid out for two weeks. 

One point to note though if you decide to get one of these: ensure that you keep a sharp eye out for non-potty trained toddlers, as well as toys with velcro on them (such as play food that you can cut). The former might have an accident on the rug, while the latter tends to stick and damage the felt. That aside, we are loving this rug! These rugs cannot be washed, but can be wiped clean or gently vacuumed.

I was intrigued by Divya's story, as well as the process that goes into making these felt ball crafts, so I thought I'd let her share more:

Jus: Hello Divya! I would love to introduce you to my readers. Are you local? How do you like staying in Singapore?

Divya: Singapore has been home for two years now, but I’m originally from Nepal. I grew up there, but moved to India to study when I was 13. I then went on to work in Mumbai, India, before shifting to Singapore. Singapore, in many ways is very similar to Mumbai, where I’ve lived for seven years in the past, and that is one of the many reasons I love staying here!

Jus: How did All Things Felt come about? Could you share with us some background to your little shop?

Divya: The Nepal earthquake in 2015 saw the world come together to help its people stand back on their feet. With help pouring in from all directions, I decided to do my bit. With firm belief in the craft and the wide variety of the products that could draw consumers in Singapore, I hope to open a new door for the artisans of my country. I see this is a sustainable way of assisting the artisans, who are mostly women. Nepal, with its snow-capped mountains, idyllic rivers and streams, pagoda-style temples, intricately terraced rice and paddy fields and market courtyards, has a timeless atmosphere that is simply captivating. 

With the intent of bringing the splendour of the Nepalese hillsides to homes in Southeast Asia, All Things Felt hopes to touch more lives with the magic of its products. Various kinds of handicraft are a reflection of a nation wrapped in various ethnicities and cultures. Production of handicraft is an age-old practice in Nepal. Handicraft—both textile (pashmina, hemp, silk, felt, etc.) and non-textile (silver, handmade paper, wood, ceramics, etc.)—is an important source of foreign exchange for this otherwise poor country. Each handicraft weaves with itself a beautiful story—one in which the artisan is taught with utmost precision and love the art of making by one of their own. 

Nepal is also largely a patriarchal society in which women are disadvantaged. Traditionally, women from poor families in Nepal do not have access to formal education, and are often marginalised and vulnerable to domestic abuse. Through All Things Felt, we endeavour to empower these women through the preservation of traditional handicraft skills and culture. The fact that we are able to help women in our small way to earn an income, educate their children and to feel more confident in their abilities is what excites and encourages us the most. 

Jus: I love how your shop endeavours to help these Nepalese women, and keep these artisanal skills alive! I know these rugs are works of art and require many hours of labour. Could you share more about the process of making these rugs so we can better appreiciate the work that goes into each one? 

Divya: Felt is a matted mass of sheep’s wool. Most craft producers in Nepal import the wool from New Zealand. The wool is first carded. Carding is a mechanical process that disentangles the wool fibre to produce a continuous web or sliver suitable for subsequent processing. Carded wool is then dyed into a myriad of different colours. The dyes used are non-toxic and free of chemicals. Unlike industrial chemical processing used to create most felts, most producers in Nepal—us included—use a technique called "wet felting", wherein using friction and soapy water, the natural wool fibre is matted, condensed and pressed to create the material. After the wool is dyed, our artisans make individual felt balls using soap and hot water. The felt balls are rolled until they are roughly 2 cm in diameter. Once done, the artisans put the balls in cold water and rinse them, after which these are dried in the sun. Once completely dry, they are ready to be sewn together to make the rugs. This is the most complex and time-consuming task. The workshop we work with employs only women who work in small groups of friends and families and can opt to work from home. The flexible nature of the work provides a great option for young mothers, allowing them to care for their little ones and families and at the same time earn a livelihood.

Jus: It's great that your workers are able to care for their families while producing these crafts! Could you share your dream for your little business? 

Divya: All Things Felt believes that happiness is handmade. We bring the colour and vibrancy of the hills of Nepal right to your doorstep. We want to create more awareness around the gorgeous felt products and make them more known in Southeast Asia. Not only because we want to help our lovely artisans generate more income, but because we honestly believe in the magic of our products. We hope to bring a little bit of our home to yours.


Thank you so much for sharing, Divya! Looking at how much work goes into each rug really made me appreciate mine so much more. And I loved how these handicrafts empower women and mothers and allow them to earn a livelihood, while still giving them the flexibility to care for their families. 

If you are interested in learning more, please visit their Facebook Page or Instagram account to view the products that are available, or you can drop Divya an email at That aside, All Things Felt would be showcasing their products over at the Boutiques Fair on 4th Nov (0900-2000 hrs) and 5th Nov (1000-2000hrs), at the F1 Pit Building, so you can also pay them a visit this weekend!

Disclaimer: We were sponsored this lovely rug for purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own. 


  1. Amazed by how much work goes into the rugs and they are really beautiful! Good on you for sharing the good work the company is doing.

    1. Thanks Debra! Each rug is a piece of art, thank you for understanding and appreciating the hard-work our artisans put into each rug.

      Thanks Justina for sharing our story so beautifully!



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