The Process -
Each lemlem item begins in the hands of our exceptional artisans. We invest in locally grown materials and fabrics and we partner with collectives that use traditional techniques in hand weaving, crochet and embroidery to create a beautiful, contemporary look. We’re committed to preserving traditional craftsmanship while expanding production and job opportunities across Africa. Our core hand woven collection is made in Ethiopia. Hand-crochet, silk and jersey pieces are made by our newest artisanal partners in Kenya.
Cotton is thought to originate in Ethiopia. It has been cultivated on Ethiopian farms since ancient times. Before the cotton fibers can be woven, they are cleaned to remove any imperfections and straightened into thread. The artisans load the thread onto spools and the weaving process is ready to begin...
Photo by: Giles Bensimon
In Ethiopia, hand weaving is an important tradition with deep roots. The process begins as the weaver strings each individual “warp” thread vertically through a loom. The weaver then repeatedly passes the “weft” threads across the loom – interlacing the two threads. With each pass, lemlem’s signature stripe patterns begin to emerge.
A hand-loom in Ethiopia
lemlem partners with a local collective in Kenya that employs craftswomen and trains them to become highly-skilled artisans. Women are taught the art of crochet - interlocking loops of yarn into intricate designs. The result is an exquisite, high-quality, hand-crafted piece.
Hand-crochet in Kenya
Rich hand-embroidery lines the neck, cuffs, and hem of formal garments and furnishings in Ethiopia. Intricate motifs and patterns are memorized and passed down from generation to generation of artisans. The lemlem collection carries on this tradition integrating vibrant hand-embroidered details to add a perfect pop of color.