November 26 2010
Satisfying the cravings of deskbound travellers and fashionistas alike, Wholly Goat is a new company whose joyful images of the Kathmandu valley are matched by the vibrantly coloured cashmere scarves in its online shop.
The chatty style of this easy-to-navigate site is instantly engaging. It promises “soft shawls, warm wraps, elegant stoles, toasty scarves”, while crisp images convey the tactile quality of luxurious designs dreamt up in London and made from 100 per cent pure cashmere using traditional Nepali skills in Kathmandu.
Technophobes will be delighted that there isn’t a digital print in sight. The scarves are printed using craft techniques, such as hand-drawn screens, with each design telling its own story. Personalising their provenance further, many scarves are named after the women who made them. Even without this human connection, it would be hard to resist gorgeous, jewel-coloured, single hues such as Ananya Burnt Orange (£156) or Saheli Fuchsia (third picture, £170) and printed designs such as Kabita Snow Leopard in frost grey (first picture, £185), Chituwa Indigo Dusk (second picture, £205) and Salena Rainy Day Beige (£195). Meanwhile, the site’s blog tells us that the Hansa scarf, £195, was a favourite with the Nepalese ambassador when he attended Wholly Goat’s London launch in September.
The company’s belief that trade is a more positive force than aid is lightly conveyed, as is cashmere’s fascinating history: “pashmina”, for example, stems from the Persian word for wool, “pashm”; cashmere is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, while cashmere yarn is 1/16th the diameter of a human hair. Nuggets such as these make Wholly Goat’s wares even more irresistible to discerning shoppers.