About Us

Elmenteita weavers is a Kenyan based weaving company that specializes in using organically dyed spun wool. Set up over 2 decades ago the company aims to promote the local artistic talent in creating a variety of kikoi and soft furnishing products. We are based close to the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya and we are committed to delivering the best in quality weaving products providing our customers with ready made and custom weaved designs.

Ann Bristow the founder of Elmenteita weavers immigrated to Kenya from London in 1975 with her husband who had been seconded to come and work in the sister firm of the Architectural firm he was working for in London. Ann had worked in the textile industry for years and was head of the Textiles department at the Central School of Arts and Design in London before immigrating to Kenya. The Bristows fell in love with Kenya and the rich diversity of its people and its landscape deciding to settle in the country. Ann soon felt the desire to use and teach the skills she had in the textile industry to the local talent and initially took up a teaching post at Jomo Kenyatta college teaching arts and crafts. Ann also set up a small workshop in the garage of their home in Nairobi and began to train her gardener how to weave.

In their travels around Kenya the Bristows had come across the Cole family House built in 1918 and which today is the main building of The Elmenteita Country Lodge. The house which was no longer inhabited was set on 28000 acres of land in the great rift valley and overlooked lake Elmenteita. The place known as Kikopey by the local Masai community was considered by the Bristows to be the perfect location to set up a small weaving business. They made an offer to the Cole family to rent and maintain the property and thus Elmenteita Weavers was born! Set up as a limited company in 1985, Ann took on 2 Kenyan partners, Margaret Mutiso and Steven Kiko. Ann would also source and purchase spun wool from the local community. She employed and trained a team of young weavers whom she taught how to dye the wool into the various vibrant colors.The local community took part in the weaving activities and word of mouth soon made Elmenteita weavers popular such that tourist mini buses would frequently stop at Kikopey to see the weavers in action and purchase items.

Elmenteita weavers moved to its current workshop in Naivasha in 1991 due to a change in the ownership of the land at Kikopey. The rented property in Naivasha is also set in a beautiful location close to the shores of the lake Naivasha. Ann continued to teach and instruct her weavers at their new location building Elmentaita into a well established weaving company in the region receiving large orders for their rugs and tablemats from lodges and hotels. They also participated in many local and regional craft fairs including the famous annual Christmas Craft Fair at the Ngong race course in Nairobi. Sadly Ann Bristow passed away in 2008 aged 79yrs but her legacy lives on in Elmenteita weavers. Today the company is run by Mrs Margaret Mutiso and her daughter Kavulani Mutiso.

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