Itotsumugi Project

What is the Itotsumugi Project?

We want to make 100% Nepalese handmade shawls,
and we want people with disabilities
and their parents to have a job and sustainable work.

This is what we want to achieve with our project.

We run a small shawl shop in Kathmandu,
the capital of Nepal.

Many tourists from all over the world used to visit Nepal
to see the exotic old temples and
the white Himalayan mountains.


Cashmere and wool shawls are
very popular among tourists.

“Made in Nepal”
“High quality”

Most of the shawls sold in souvenir shops in Nepal
with such sales slogans are mass-produced.
Many Indian and Chinese shawls are also sold.

Of course, there are many good ones among them.
But we have come to want people to buy
real handmade shawls made in Nepal.

100% handmade shawls

We have a small workshop with four looms.

There, our craftsmen weave and dye
each shawl by hand,one by one,
making each shawl handmade with heart and soul.

And for the yarn, we wanted to
use carefully hand-spun yarn.

Yarn spinning was originally a
traditional Nepalese technique.

However, nowadays,
inexpensive machine-made yarns are the mainstream,
and the time-consuming and
labor-intensive hand-spinning technique is almost lost.

First of all,
it was necessary to revive hand spinning,
which is also a traditional technique.

Since it was difficult to find
Nepalese people who could spin yarn,
we asked a Japanese friend
to teach us how to spin yarn,
made a traditional spinning wheel,
gathered people who would become spinners,
and had them learn the technique.


Beginning of the project

The Nepal Yarn Spinning Project began in the fall of 2019.

At first, we tried to get people living in
Kathmandu to learn yarn spinning.

However, it was difficult to find people
who could learn to spin.

Spinning requires dexterity, but above all,
it requires concentration.

In March 2020, I decided to ask mothers
from a school for the mentally handicapped in Banepa
(1.5 hours by car from Kathmandu),
whom I had known for a long time, to spin yarn for me.

They had been looking for work for some time.
However, on March 24,
three days before I promised to go and teach them yarn spinning,
the Nepalese government declared a lockdown in order to control the spread of the coronavirus,
and restrictions on daytime outings, store closures,
and traffic restrictions began.

We could not go to Banepa and
our store was also shuttered.

After that, it became difficult to walk freely outside.
Foreign tourists also disappeared.
Our store sales dropped to zero.

Our yarn-spinning project also came to a halt.

Project Restarted

In the fall of 2020, the lockdown that
lasted more than six months was finally lifted.

Airplanes can now fly and
we can export our products to overseas customers,
but tourists rarely come.

Many people lost their jobs.

Through an acquaintance,
we met women who had lost their jobs
due to the pandemic, and our project was restarted.

Now we have four women who lost their jobs
and three women with mentally handicapped
children spinning yarn.

The yarn is carefully produced by hand spinning.
The shawls are 100% handmade and woven from the yarn.

It is not always easy to spin good yarn,
and weaving is different from machine spinning,
so there are many difficulties.

But the resulting shawls are like love itself.

Slowly, our project is moving forward
toward the realization of our dream.


This is Akimi from friendly export.

Shawls made from yarns spun in this project.
The brand name is


I love myself so much, you might say 😂😂
I named the brand after myself,
so that I will not give up in the middle of the project.

I named it after myself because I don’t want to
give up in the middle of the project.
I hope you will support this project so that
many people will know about it.

Thank you.