Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Royal baby gets moccasins from local artisan

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EDNA Nabess has stitched together a special connection between Manitoba and the royal baby.

The Winnipeg artisan has handcrafted a pair of tiny traditional moccasins for George Alexander Louis, who arrived earlier this month. The baby booties were sent to Windsor Castle by Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo as part of a gift for the latest addition to the royal family.

The package also included pairs of mukluks for Prince William and Kate Middleton, Nabess said.

"Definitely it's a big deal. I'm excited to be a part of it," she offered from her Cree-ations store on Main Street on Monday. "And it's not only us here at the shop that's going to benefit from it. Other people involved in the craftwork will see more attention for their work, too.

"We're just a little business here."

The moccasins for Prince George were beaded and stitched together by hand and made from deer hide, which is a lot softer for a baby's skin than moose or cow leather. The mukluks, which retail for approximately $600, are moose hide and feature a beaver fur lining.

Nabess says she's noticed the traditional moccasins and mukluks have found their way into cities around the world over the last few years. She doubts she'll see pictures of William and Kate traipsing around Piccadilly Circus or Camden Market through London's damp weather, though.

These boots are not made for walking in the rain.

"Oh goodness, no they don't -- they do not hold up in the rain," Nabess laughed. "It might be an issue for them there. They don't do well in the rain or the slushy snow. People always think they can wear them in the rain. When it's dry and when it's really cold -- that's when you wear them."

This isn't the first time Nabess has watched her work go international. She's also shipped handcrafted mukluks to Scotland, Australia, Serbia and Belgium.

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 30, 2013 B2

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