I took some time out of a quiet Sunday morning to visit Charlotte at home to find out about the direction of her new woven collection. Visiting her amongst the quiet streets off Clapham Common discovering what inspires her.
I was introduced to Woven Form a while ago at Renegade Craft Fair, Charlotte had a whole selection of unisex neutral tweed like fabrics that caught my eye. Inspired from the city around her and combined with an eye for geometric pattern combos I knew I had to keep tabs on how her designs developed.
So half a year or so later, there has been some drastic changes to Charlotte's designs. Scraping back her experimentation getting down to a core style. The process still starts as a photo excursion to collect details, colours and shapes; then she chooses her wool. Charlotte is drawn to using merino & mohair wools for their softness and the added texture it gives to her designs. The new bright colour accents are all a homage to Charlotte's favourite inspirational hub, Brixton. Of which you'll notice each of her new series of scarves is named after. Achievable due to the wonderful selection at the Knit Works in East London (her top recommendation for supplies) and only the limit of her imagination.
Charlotte continues to try new combinations, her sketch book filled with patterns that she then converts to a digital format. A feature that her new Louet Magic Dobby electronic interface allows for, a great advantage that allows for a set combination of harnesses for every shed opening to help cut down the physical exertion between each step.
Charlotte recently took a big step investing in her new loom and at this point I'll just share with you she is still working a full time job as well. Her dedication really shines through in the craft, her love for the technique creates a really refreshing outlook for the medium.
I have tried to understand a little more about the weaving process, reading up and watching videos but still can't really get my tongue around the technical terms; there is a lot to learn. So a few simple stages for you, to give you an idea of how much effort goes in to making each piece.
It takes one day to prepare, set up and string the base wool that runs vertical, then another day to weave the horizontal colours in between those strings. Then you have to take the weaving off, wash it to set it, then trim. That's several days just on once piece (not including design time). Impressed yet?
Charlotte is a strong believer in creating something that isn't 'throw away fashion', quality investment pieces that help promote the importance of skill in the making process. She enjoys every piece she makes and loves sharing her work, (selling it too I think).
Each of the scarves are pretty much made to order and you she sells them at the moment through her online shop but hopes for future wholesale opportunities. Some trendy extras can be found in there too including a few wall hangings and a new trio of enamel pins. The future is really open for Charlotte, she has dreams of future collaborations with upholsters and home interiors designs, maybe a Christmas pop-up? Really my original thoughts still stands she is a designer maker to keep an eye on.
You can see her collection for yourself at New Designers One Year on coming up at the end of June start of July and hopefully she'll be sharing her Brixton creations on location some time soon.