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The story of the exotic and rare 'Dhaka' fabric we have handloomed in Nepal for our WUKA Wash Bags

The journey from raw cotton to finished product is one we wanted to share to reveal the hidden beauty in the fabric of every WUKA Wash bag. Our wash bag is made up of Nepal’s most traditional fabric called Dhaka. Dhaka is an exquisite cotton fabric hand woven in numerous colours with an huge number of patterns but often featuring geometric shapes. The duration of weaving depends on the complexity of the pattern but on average it takes one day to loom one meter of fabric! Extremely time consuming but absolutely resulting in a beautiful end result.

woman making dhaka print fabric woman making dhaka fabric nepal 2

The origin of Dhaka goes back several hundred years, Palpa and Tehrathum are still the the two most popular places where they are woven, however there are many places around Nepal that makes Dhaka fabric today. A long time ago women even spun the cotton an dye to make a thread and was known as ‘Haate taan’ but these day they source cotton thread from big suppliers.

Our WUKA wash bag’s Dhaka fabric is made in an eastern part of Nepal, near our my hometown, I chose this place so that my mum can oversee the work and be there anytime.

There is a small misconception about Dhaka coming from the name of the place –the capital of Bangladesh, a place renowned for its textile production however Dhaka is the name of the pattern and is made in Nepal. The fabric itself is super versatile and can be used to make various types of clothing and accessories. 

Three great reasons to buy a Dhaka WUKA Wash Bag:

    1. Dhaka is predominately made by groups of women and provides a means of income support to families.
    2. It keeps this hundreds of years old tradition and craftsmanship alive by passing the skills to new generations.
    3. Every bag is a unique work of art with no two being the same.

So next time when you see the fabric itself or our wash bag remember, it’s more than a fabric – it’s a piece of history, culture and tradition. Something old, and like so many aspects of Nepalese culture, in need of revival and recognition. It’s a source of women empowerment and a doorway to education and empowerment for girls and boys. We've written about our inspiration for WUKA on this blog before and the need for empowerment and recognition of women in Nepal.

Ultimately we love our WUKA wash bags as they are perfect to carry a spare period underwear when you are out and about but the bag itself is so versatile you can use for any other purposes such as a make up kit bag or use it as a purse.