Leribe Craft Center
Leribe Craft Centre is a sheltered workshop and employment project in Lesotho. Since 1911, the Sisters of the Holy Name trained young Basotho women to spin and weave local Lesotho mohair from the mountains of the country. The Center trains and employs physically disabled and deaf women in spinning, weaving, knitting and crocheting. It employs about forty Basotho women; about half the women are disabled. Other women spin mohair at their homes and bring the yarn to the center regularly for it to be woven, knit or crocheted.
The Center produces unique handmade products of 100% Lesotho mohair. These products include table mats and runners, ponchos, shoulder bags, purses, scarves, stoles, shawls, knee-rugs, small tapestries and cushion covers.
The project is philanthropic - profits are used for training the disabled, lodging and also for the Home Economics School which is on the same site.
Maseru Tapestries and Mats
Maseru Tapestries is a cooperative of women weavers; it was founded in 2001 with 10 members and has doubled to 20.
The women artisans produce traditional frame loom wool and mohair tapestries which are sewn into bags. Each bag is hand-spun and hand-woven by women at Maseru Tapestries in Lesotho. Their products reflect the warmth and vibrancy of life in Africa while achieving a high standard of professional design and styles. They are hand-woven using mohair, which is moth-proofed and it obtains its glorious colors from colorfast dyes.
The women in Maseru Tapestries and Mats are creating exquisite and dynamic pieces of art that enhance people’s lives and share cultural information and at the same time they are able to support their children through their work.
N’kobo Jewelry Making
Artisan Alice Tikiso once worked in Lesotho's garment factories where she learned technical sewing and quality control. Along with her husband Edward, she founded N’kobo, a small business that specializes in handmade products from traditional African ShweShwe fabric and paper jewelry. Alice hopes to grow her business to help other qualified seamstresses make a fair wage.
At N’kobo Jewelry, when they say homemade, they mean literally made at home, with the hands. Very few tools are used as each item is shaped and formed into a work of art. The workshop has a sewing machine and an embroidery machine for their fabric creations such as hand tailored dresses and accessories. But the jewelers use only a pliers, a wire cutter, and other small hand tools. Much of the shaping and forming is literally done with the hands. The result is unique pieces made with pride, pieces that stand out from the crowd.
The Tikiso family has created income generation opportunities for many artisans in Lesotho.
Seithati Weavers was formed in April 1990 as a partnership owned and run by a group of twelve Basotho women. The women are committed to maintaining the Lesotho heritage craft of hand-spinning and hand-weaving.
They product quality tapestries, rugs and bags mostly of village scenes from 100% handwoven mohair, which has been spun, washed and dyed, then mothproofed for an exquisite long lasting finish.
The women are committed to maintaining the Lesotho heritage craft of hand-spinning and hand-weaving. Seithati Weavers are members of Lesotho Mountain Crafts, a united organization of crafters organized under Action Lesotho. They provide support and training to craft workers in Lesotho regarding design, practical skills, internet technology, sales and marketing.