This is no ordinary hand-woven linen cushion for every bucle in this loop-pile fabric has been formed completely by hand – by the weaver´s fingers. The technique of felpa gallega, as it is called, is over 1000 years old and in rural Galicia, in mountainous northwest Spain, this macro-pile fabric is still being made in exactly the same way, on wooden hand-looms, by a new generation of Galician weavers. There is no industrial alternative to an authentic Galician felpa textile – it remains a totally hand-made technique, which is why it is becoming so rare in Spain.
How long does it take to make a felpa cushion? An authentic felpa cushion such as this one takes approximately 15 hours to make in total, about 10 of which are spent in forming each of the thousands of bucles by hand. The time involved in making felpa textiles explains why the technique has such a high value and why it is so rare. Modern felpa textiles are not sold via shops, only directly from the weaver´s studio, ensuring best value both for the maker and for the customer.
Felpa was traditionally used to make heavy, brightly-coloured and warm bed-covers, colourful “jewels” in the austere stone farmhouses of the Spanish mountain villages and hamlets. Today Anna Champeney Estudio Textil employs the technique to make felpa cushions in both traditional and bold, colourful and contemporary designs. Each cushion, which uses high quality linen and authentic, locally-sourced wool, is made in exactly the same way as centuries ago, with each bucle pulled out of the body of the cloth, by hand.
One-off pieces are sold on the internet and directly from the workshop (where you can also spend your holidays in the studio´s holiday cottage, Casa dos Artesans), located in the idyllic Ribeira Sacra, part of north Spain and about 2 hours from the famous pilgrimage city, Santiago de Compostela. The Anna Champeney Textile Studio can also make one-off piecs similar to the one shown, by commission and offers holiday tuition, both for beginners and those with weaving experience. Anna Champeney is able to offer illustrated talks on felpa gallega, based on years of ethnographic research into the technique.
This cushion is available for sale and is a one-off, unrepeatable design
The cushion has a hand-woven natural linen backing and is fitted with an invisible zip and is supplied with the filler. Hand-wash, without soaking.