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Art and crafts help snow leopards

A visitor to a Himalayan Homestay in ladakh is shown how felt is made by the host of the house who makes toys and clothes which are sold by the Snow Leopard Conservancy india Trust.

Felt making is thousands of years old and has been practiced in many cultures to make clothes, tents and toys. The felt fabric is made by matting and pressing wool and this wool is then used to make handicrafts.

Recently the villages of Saspoche and Ullay in Sham Valley Ladakh, India were trained in felt making of wild animals, including snow leopards for sale to travellers to Ladakh. The Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust (SLC IT) arranged for Ute Meuser, a Waldorf teacher and expert on dry felting techniques, to train men and women to make handicrafts that will increase their income and help raise awareness of snow leopards in this area. The crafts will be sold in the SLC IT’s Snow Leopard Interpretive Centre in Leh, Ladakh, just in time for the coming summer peak trekking season.

Wool from domestic goats and sheep make the felt used by villagers for crafts.

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