Ethical Elegance: Umva!
Umva! In Rwanda’s language, Kinyarwanda, umva means listen.
I learned this from Nancy, the amazing woman behind Long Ridge Farm. For several years, she has journeyed to Rwanda, working with women there to dye lovely fabrics with locally available plants. The textiles produced by the women are sold through Rwanda One4One, providing direct aid to families.
I’ve been a fan of Nancy’s work for years, anticipating our visits each year at Rhinebeck. As soon as she
posted a picture of the Umva wraps, I contacted her to reserve one for myself. It arrived the day before I left for Fiber College in Maine. When I opened it, the colors’ rich hues made me gasp out loud. Even though it was still warm in Connecticut, I was glad to have the massive wrap (4’x6′) further north. I wore it like a shawl, wrapped it around my neck, draped it over my shoulders, pulled it over me at night for a wee bit more warmth. In other words, an Umva wrap is not only ethical, it is endlessly elegant and versatile.
You can get your own magnificent Umva wrap online, or at Rhinebeck–Nancy will be in Building A, 36, and she’ll not only have Umva wraps; she’ll have silk scarves, fabrics, gorgeous leathers, and more. Be sure to visit her, and give her a hug from me.