With its strong tradition and industry dating back to the Middle Ages, Bulgarian wool was something I had studied and a material I knew I wanted to work with. It was 2012, and I was longing to spend more time in Bulgaria anyway, after living abroad for a while. When a friend of my mother’s put me in contact with the family-run mill, which is the one I currently work with, it all started happening.
Using old, mechanical shuttle looms, the technology is limited, forcing you to really understand and be more creative through all of the other steps of production.
Dyeing is done by hand—my dyer learned the craft from his father, and his father before that. Quantities are small since everything is mostly done by hand. All of these elements lead to irregularities, which are part of what I love about my blankets.
“I was especially inspired by the artistic input of women, reinterpreting traditional models and patterns in their own ways, giving them independence and creative agency”
My fascination with textiles started early; With my grandmother being from Kotel, one of the two towns in Bulgaria most renowned for their rug weaving traditions, I’ve been surrounded by kilims since childhood. I was especially inspired by the artistic input of women, reinterpreting traditional models and patterns in their own ways, giving them independence and creative agency, something that was almost impossible back then.
I always wanted get involved, and to learn killim weaving techniques in order to produce my own. But, with so much respect for traditional designs and their richness, I struggled with combining colors and creating new designs that would justify the time and resources put into each rug. This was when the idea of blankets started to appear. A blanket is a product with which I could follow each step of production, from the sourcing of the wool, through washing, dyeing and weaving, and really learn the craft. Blankets also allow for more minimal designs, which I like.