Kalahari Wild Silk needs exposure to international market

LEONARDVILLE: The Kalahari Wild Silk Manufacturers, one of only a handful of employers at Leonardville, needs aggressive exposure to international communities in order to reap the best rewards from its products.

The company specialises in the production of silk products such as scarfs, curtains, and table cloths using natural methods.

The company’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Veronica Nunuhes, told Nampa here on Wednesday that while efforts are being done to make the company’s products known, more needs to be done to make the world notice their products.

She said most of the company’s clients are tourists from overseas, who view silk as an exquisite product.

Silk is produced by several insects, but generally only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing.

The moth, Gonometa Postiga, hatches from cocoons which are spun by larvae on Camelthorn trees and Blackthorn, including Prosopis trees, upon which the larvae feed before pupating.

According to Nunuhes, the company has been growing from strength to strength since its establishment in 2009.

Community members are used to harvest cocoons from Camelthorn trees.

The collection of wild silk and its processing into various silk yarn and silk products provide much needed income to members of the community, mostly women, in Leonardville.

The project owes its success to Ian Cummings, a South African silk-industry professional, who gained much of his experience in the exotic surroundings of Madagascar.

Cummings started Kalahari Wild Silk in 2009, following three years of research into the feasibility of the project.

It is supported and funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and Oxfam (Canada).

Kalahari Wild Silk Manufacturers is a community-based organisation registered as a Section 21 company not having a share capital and an incorporated association not for gain.