Wonderful handmade project bags + Meet the Maker: Paola of mYak
This week we’re showcasing two amazing designers we stock at Loop – All The Beautiful Linen and Kaliko. Both these companies are owned and run by very talented women, who make truly wonderful project bags. We also have our newest Meet the Maker film for you, which features the wonderful Paola Vanzo of mYak Tibetan Fibres, so be sure to keep on reading!
Ania of Kaliko is a natural dyer, weaver and textile designer. She lives and works from her studio in Berlin. Kaliko uses certified organic fibers that are hand-dyed using local plant pigments. Due to the nature of the dyeing and printing process, all pieces are unique – each one slightly different from the other, yet all equally beautiful!
Kaliko uses only natural fabrics , with the organic cotton being GOTS certified. All linen sourced is all natural and unbleached.
We asked Ania to tell us a little bit about her process and her background!
“I am originally from Poland. I moved to Germany 8 years ago to do my master’s in architecture. I worked as an architect in Berlin for 5 years before I went full time with my textile business.
I worked with textiles as a side hustle for 2 years before I made a leap. Architecture turned out to be another desk job, offering little creative challenges. I needed creativity in my life and textiles provided an outlet for my ideas.
Before I even started dyeing with plants I discovered weaving. It was my first introduction to fibre art and instant love. To make my handwoven designs more personal, I started dyeing the yarns with local plants. Building my own colour palette made the weaving practice even more magical.
I am self-taught and learned from available online sources – which is maybe not the best idea, as there is a lot of misinformation about plant dyes being spread. What might look very simple at first glance, actually took me years to understand. As a hobby dyer, I started my journey from testing different dye plants, without worrying about the longevity of the colour. My goal back then was to get to know as many local plants as possible and research their dyeing potential. I was making tiny swatches and just having fun. Dyeing was a hobby I played with after hours in the office. It was over a year later that I decided to sell my products and offer colours that stand the test of time.
In 2017 I went full time with my textile brand Kaliko. My first wholesale client was Loop and it really helped my business spread the wings! I was able to move out of my home kitchen to a small dedicated studio, where I weave, dye, and prototype. I also work with local female freelancers, who help me with sewing, screenprinting, and fulfilling the orders. We are offering handmade, sustainably made project bags dyed with plants, as well as handwoven goods and craft supplies.
My days now involve of course a lot of dyeing, which is a long process, sometimes taking days to finish. The fabrics need to be first washed and then mordanted before the dye is extracted from the plants and applied to the fibers. I always have multiple dye pots going in my studio kitchen. But I also enjoy sewing and patching with our production offcuts, and of course I am still a passionate weaver. Recently I picked up knitting and there are now new possibilities unfolding for me, which I am very excited about.”
Thank you so much Ania, we feel very lucky to get such a lovely insight into your process, and your studio!
We have the beautiful Kaliko bundle dyed project bags in stock at Loop now! You can find them on our website in the ‘Handmade’ category, under Kaliko.
All The Beautiful Linen
All the Beautiful Linen is a family business run by a mother and her daughters in Lithuania. The pouches are made from 100% soft and washed linen. Perfect for knitting or sewing supplies, as a travelling bag, gift bag, or for nursery and home decor. Each pouch is lovingly hand embroidered with charming woodland motifs.
We spoke to Elze of All The Beautiful Linen about the brand and their processes.
When did you start your company, and what led you into it?
“We started allthebeautifullinen in 2018. We had similar linen brands before, but this time we wanted it to be a family business. Mother Loreta and two daughters Elze and Une own and run the brand in Vilnius, Lithuania.”
Why did you choose the lovely medium you work in, hand embroidery on linen?
“We started embroidery long long ago and naturally included it into our linen pieces.”
Where did you learn to embroider? Are you self-taught or did you learn from a relative?
“Self-taught; we first started cross stitch embroidery from books, then created our own designs for our brand.”
Could you tell us about your process? What does a typical day in your studio look like?
“Coffee, cutting fabric, driving to several seamstress studios, packing orders, answering emails, Instagram, taking pictures in our photo studio or outside, embroidering usually in the evenings, always planning something new for the next collection.”
Could you tell us a little bit about Lithuanian crafts? Are you inspired by traditional techniques?
“Lithuania is most famous for folk embroidery and weaving – tablecloths and traditional Lithuanian costumes, making pottery, egg decorating and making hanging straw gardens. Though our work is not inspired by Lithuanian crafts, we would love to include folk pattern embroidery in the future.”
Thank you so much Elze! We have lots of lovely project bags from All The Beautiful Linen in stock at Loop, and as they are made especially for us each one as a little ‘l’ embroidered on one side.
Meet the Maker: Paola Vanzo of mYak Tibetan Fibres
From a small village in the Italian Alps to studying Chinese in Venice, trains across Europe into Moscow to catch the Trans-Siberian Railway to Beijing China, Paola Vanzo of mYak has a wonderful story about her life to tell.
Our new ‘Meet the Maker’ film made with Richard Jung tells Paola’s journey into Tibet and the serendipitous meeting with a small boy with a baby yak in need of help and how, with Andrea Dominici, their lives in that moment as well of the Tibetan herders, was about to change.
Thank you so much to Paola, Andrea and Richard Jung!