I am motivated to represent all this fine work for the people producing it : for the values they propone, for the essential return to fine hand work.
Not only are all the people I work with highly skilled and evolved artisans; they also promulgate traditional craft with a fair trade philosophy.
They have brought their art up to a high contemporary plane.
Anything I can do to help them not only continue to survive but to thrive will be a job worth doing.
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Massachusetts based Sam Kasten Handweaver began weaving almost forty years ago with Andy Oates who studied at the Black Mountain College with Anni & Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller and other illustrious members of the Bauhaus.
Sam designs and weaves fine textiles for high end residences, hotels, museums and corporate headquarters, making custom fabrics and rugs to his own designs, based on clients designs or matching antique or discontinued weavings. Looms run up to 3.65m widths, allowing for seamless wall covering or drapery.
Also available from SKH based on Kasten’s own or clients’ designs are a collection of impossibly soft blankets and throws woven from baby alpaca and fine merino wool to order, in plains or any geometric pattern, any colour, made by a mill in Peru.
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Sam Kasten is also working exclusively with a mill in Kathmandu producing hand knotted rugs to order.
These rugs may be ordered in any colour, shape, design and may be made from one or a combination of the following materials : Tibetan wool, dyed or undyed; Chinese or Indian silk; sumptuous mohair and recently Hemp, Ramie (nettle) or Cactus.
Organic rugs may be made on request. Sizes can run up to 6.10m width x 15.25m length and can even be made to fit as a carpet.
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Twill Textiles in Chicago was set up in partnership with Suzanne Lovell, a renowned interior designer who was looking for distinctive fabrics with a handwoven feel.
Sam and Suzanne identified a number of specialist mills in Europe and North America capable of replicating Kasten’s designs on the mechanical loom, modifying looms and methods if necessary, working with the same fine, natural yarns sourced world wide by SKH, thereby keeping the fabrics’ integrity.
Many of the fabrics from Twill are made from organic fibres and are sustainable; they may even be prepared using a non-toxic fire resistant treatment.
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Perrine Rousseau set up her company Perrine Rousseau Creations to produce hand woven, vegetable dyed fabrics in her Paris studio using all natural, organic yarns.
Her collections are largely linen based and are made as a tribute to the beautiful yarns she chooses to work with. The resulting collection is a great testament to this ‘less is more’ philosophy – a palette of fabulous, natural colours, deceptively simple weaves, which are at once deliciously raw yet subtly sophisticated.
Perrine has recently introduced a new collection of machine-woven adaptations of her sobre designs – one reminiscent of crisp, fresh snow, another a raw, structured plain white weave from paper : the whole collection evocative of a fine Japanese kimono.
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Elodie Brunet who, like Perrine, studied textiles for four years at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, has a number of other points in common with Perrine : she too works with organic, natural fibres, hand woven and vegetable dyed.
Elodie’s collection is woven in conjunction with an association of women in the Philippines, from the finest silk and pineapple fibres.
Elodie absorbs the local atmosphere, and the designs for her almost spiritual sheers emerges from that communion. They vibrate with a luminosity and delicacy, they are both structured yet fluid.
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Arpin is a family business established for almost 200 years.
The mill works the raw, shorn wool from local alpine valleys, sorting, cleaning, oiling, spinning and weaving into chic, understated woolen fabrics.The machines weaving the various qualities of textiles from Arpin which are produced in small quantities, are protected by the National Heritage scheme.
The result is a cloth unlike any other, imbued with character, wonderfully natural, raw and weighty. Arpin produces both cloth and rugs; they also have a fabric which can be cut like leather into any shape, without fraying.
They keep stock of all references but can also make up work in custom colours and designs to order.
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