In 2006 an ATA team conducted a detailed assessment of the craft sector in Lesotho with generous funding by Kellogg. In January, 2008, ATA South Africa Trust (ATASA, ATA's subsidiary in South Africa) began a program in Lesotho. ATA is currently working with four weaving and felt-making houses and one young entrepreneur exporter in Lesotho. With funding from the Kellogg Foundation, ATA has spent the past year teaching new techniques, designs and business skills to talented artisan weavers in Lesotho. Lesotho artisans have spent many years working with mohair from angora goats now, with ATA's assistance, with various wools. They create their entire products by hand, carding and spinning the yarn, dyeing it and then weaving it into finished pieces on frame looms. Capitalizing on the growing eco market theme, ATA is also working with Lesotho artisans to collect scraps from fabric producing factories as well as other potential recycled raw materials, and making them into marketable products. Exploring local knowledge and experience, and training on natural dyes also follows this theme.
Accomplishments ATA's training has helped Lesotho artisans show products at major international and regional trade shows including Maison et Objet Show in Paris, , Decorex and the Morija Festival. Technical workshops were held on Natural Dyeing, Felt Making, and Peddle Loom Weaving. Three Product Development Workshops were held for 4 weaving houses, resulting in new and exciting products made from mohair, wool and handmade felt. ATA provided mentoring and assistance to a young entrepreneur exporter Six Lesotho artisans attended the Africa Market Readiness Training in Johannesburg Two Lesotho artisans and the young entrepreneur exporter attended the Market Readiness Program in New York Many women artisans lives have been improved through increased sales and better business practises.
Partners & Collaborators Kellogg UMCOR ATA's artisan enterprise partners, and social enterprises include: Hatooa Mose Mosali, Helang Basali, Elelloang Basali, Maseru Tapestries and Mats, Leribe Craft Centre, Seitathi Weavers and Setsoto Weavers.
Contributors ATA would like to thank the following organizations for providing funding for efforts in Lesotho: Kellogg And many individual donors
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