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Diseño atractivo. Attractive design.


February 2018
« Jan    

Warping my loom for prototype textiles for Formex (Sweden) and Tent (London) Design Fairs


1. Winding the warp

Weaving prototype designs for my textile collection to be shown at Formex in Sweden and Tent Design Fair in London in August and September 2013 respectively.


And the actual designs?  Just wait and see!


2. Warp chain (keeps the long warp threads from tangling)

The yarn, a lovely 10/1 silk-wool singles yarn, twists slightly because it´s unbalanced, making it harder to thread.  But it´s been pretty easy otherwise.  I´m using it at 10hpc.


3. Winding the back beam


4. Threading the heddles to “programme” the pattern


5. Sleying the reed to space the threads to get the weight, width and handle of fabric that the project requires.


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The value of hand-woven textiles – Swans Island Blankets hand-woven in Maine

Swans Island Blankets

Manta de 100% lana orgánica de Swans Island Blankets en Maine. Precio:  (versión grande en azul indigo) 1059€ (2013)

¿Who´d not love a blanket like this one?  

It´s hand-woven, made from organic merino wool, and is dyed with natural dyes.

No, it´s not a blanket from Anna Champeney Estudio Textil in Spain, although you might think so.  It has, in fact, been woven thousands of miles away by Swans Islands Blankets, en Maine, USA.

baby blankets

Baby blankets by Swans Island Blankets

The company makes these blankets just once a year, and includes one-off as well as limited edition pieces.  And if you´re looking for their largest size, measuring 275 x 225cm, dyed with indigo, you´re looking at price tag of around 900 pounds.  Expensive, maybe, but definitely worth it for those who have that kind of disposable income.

Maybe it´s not something most of us can think about but a heirloom baby blanket costing 147€ is really quite reasonable for a high quality product.  And with a Swans Island blanket and you always have the opportunity to add personalised monograms available as an extra.

In Galicia, Spain, where Anna Champeney has her textile studio, she is always suprised to hear so many people lamenting about the fact that “people don´t appreciate the real value of craft”.

p_elle-decorBecause if you look around there are actually quite a lot of examples of high-class craft businesses … who stay in business.  So obviously they are doing something right and there ARE people who value craft.

….  Anna believes the main problem occurs when either the product itself isn´t of sufficiently high quality or else the promotion and marketing is not right, “I and many other makers have a lot to learn when it comes to marketing.  It´s hard job to achieve the level of promotion that other, bigger craft businesses achieve when you work alone because you are responsible from everything – from the design and actual making to writing blog posts and even cleaning of the workshop”.

Swans Island Blankets has a team of at least 6 weavers and have 4 AVL looms, together with a person  responsible for the dyes … and others who look after the online shop, fairs, etc..

What is the moral of the tale?  


Hand-woven one-off scarves in silk and wool with natural dyes. Available direct from Anna Champeney Estudio Textil in the textilesnaturales shop.

For craftspeople like Anna, it´s necessary to try and forge a way ahead to match the quality of the product with the quality of the presentation.

For clients and potential clients of craft weavers like Anna it´s important to try and judge the actual quality of the design and workmanship rather than rely on a slick marketing or a sophisticated online shop.




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Donna Wilson´s “Creatures” – Clever textile design with one eye on the market

More inspiration and ideas from Maison et Objet, Paris

Donna Wilson´s quirky knitted creatures

textilesnaturales gets sidetracked from weave by this British designer´s very appealing – but never sentimental – creations.

8 reasons to like them

  1. Quirkyness.
  2. Hybrid craft.  The way that hand-embroidery adds value to machine-knitted objects.
  3. There´s something comfortingly traditional in Donna´s creatures, but they are, at the same time, very contemporary.
  4. Both adults and kids love them.  This makes commercial good sense – adults are often the people who buy toys!  But they could sit quite comfortably in a grown-up room too.
  5. Made in Britain is increasingly being used as a kind of informal quality symbol and one of prestige.  In recession Britain, post-Olympic games, I sense a definite increase in patriotism and so the Buy British tag is particularly good.  At least for UK sales – I live in Spain and am not sure whether people would pay much attention to this though (I noticed, in the price list of another British design company recently in Maison et Objet that the British price list mentions products as being “made in Britain”, wherease the euro price list describes products as being made in the EU).
  6. Sense of humour but without sentimentality – I love the hidden jokes in some of the objects.  Jasper…  Carrot.  Get it?  (as long as you´re in your mid to late 30s or 40s and British that is).
  7. Price – It´s a price that works and Donna´s creatures ARE very popular.  Here in Spain it´s  popular lament that “people won´t pay for craft”.  But professionalism, quality and a sound marketing policy pays off.  Obviously many people do value well-crafted objects today!
Textile Design inspired by the Galician coast in north Spain
Prototype cushion by Anna Champeney Estudio Textil

This prototype draws on the idea of the childhood comfort blanket, the idea of a textile which you can snuggle up to.  More information and images at the textile blog of Anna Champeney.

New weave course offered at Anna Champeney Textile Studio in October

Scarf weaving course  – 24 hour hour intensive 4 -day course – Starts 20 October 2012

In principle the course programme for this year has finished (with the exception of the assistantship course in november – for which one place has just become available due to a late cancellation) but Anna has responded to demand by creating a 4-day scarf weaving course which includes setting up the loom.

So if you fancy an autumn break in the spectacular Ribeira Sacra in north Spain to practice your Spanish and enjoy learning to weave you know where to come!  Email for more information.

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