Empowering Design - Ethical Wool Production

The wool comes from the highlands of northern Ethiopia. The climate is cool in these regions and therefore the villages have traditions using wool in their everyday life. The sheep roam freely in the nature and are looked after by the shepherds.  Shepherds are an essential part of a sustainable and impactful production chain. Sheep are carefully looked after by shepherds while being able to roam freely in the highlands of Ethiopia.

Sera Helsinki links the rural highland shepherds to the production of exported design rugs. From a business perspective, sheep breeding and lambs are valuable assets to shepherds, and wool thread is an extra income, which is often seen as a waste material.

The fleece is shorn off the sheep twice a year traditionally, with a method that doesn’t cause pain. All our wool is free of mulesing, and the process is entirely handcrafted without electricity or devices. After the fleece is shorn, it is spun to yarn and woven into unique Sera Helsinki rugs.  Every sheep varies in colour by nature and every weaver works in a different way. For this reason every rug is unique, there are no two identical rug.

The threads of the carpets are hand made from woollen fleece shorn off the sheep. It is not chemically dyed and this rugs are natural and ecological. Sheep fleece comes in three colours; black, white and brown. The different thread colours are achieved by mixing the natural wool colours. The thread keeps its natural lanolin – also called wool wax or grease – which helps to remove any dirt.

Traditionally handcrafted materials are essential for Sera Helsinki’s designs, making each rug unique and charming. The wool thread is handmade by using ancient traditions in the highlands of Ethiopia. These villages are rural and very poor. Spinning is often a side income, making it possible to raise artisans and their families above extreme poverty.

Sera Helsinki rug production uses traditional and organic methods without electricity or harmful chemicals. Talented artisans craft our rugs from pure and natural sheep wool thread, which is entirely handmade without any electricity or machines. Animals are never harmed during the making of the wool rugs. The thread-making process does not include any chemicals, bleaches, or dyes; wool color is the natural lambswool.  Only lukewarm water and soap is used to clean any impurities. The resulting thread is as organic as it can be. 

Sera Helsinki combines Scandinavian design with Ethiopian craftsmanship traditions and a fully transparent production chain. The rugs are natural products from pure sheep wool, and no chemicals are used in the process.