Remember when we used to write (instead of emailing) and the excitement of receiving a card in the mail to mark a special occasion. Let’s bring that feeling back. We have unique fair trade gift cards from Nepal and India, handpainted and handmade they will brighten up someone’s day. We also have lovely handmade lokta paper journals that will inspire the most reluctant writer to put pen to paper and our photo albums will make displaying and viewing your photos a pleasure, far and away more superior to leaving your very best images locked up on a computer disk.
A word on "lokta"
Most of our fair trade card and stationery range is inspired by the wonderful lokta products from Nepal. Making paper by hand is a Himalayan tradition dating back to the 11th century. The paper was used in daily life, for kites, manuscripts and sacred texts and was the standard paper still used until about 1930. In Nepal & Tibet it continues to be used for the preparation of legal and sacred documents which require durability over many generations. Lokta is the local name for Daphne cannabina and Daphne papyracea the bark of which provides the fibre to produce the paper. The harvest of lokta is managed under a sustainable forestry scheme, the lokta being harvested on a rotational basis every 7-8 years. This program benefits thousands of rural people who make the paper mostly during the winter when they are free from farm work activities. The finished raw sheets are transformed by the co-operative members of Bhaktapur Craft Printers in the Kathmandu valley. This ethical business works specifically to improve the quality of life of the poor and underprivileged, enabling craftspeople and their families to better their lives and revitalise the local economy.
On a personal note I will never forget being shown a complete original Tibetan Book of the Dead by a monk in Darjeeling, many volumes carried painstakenly to safety over the Himalayas. You guessed it - handmade paper, most likely lokta.