Maybe you've already noticed the new selection of scarfs in the shop. The cashmere scarfs are a special treat and story for themselves. So with this write, I wish to keep the focus on the Linen and Silk blend scarfs. And there is so much to say, but I will start with a big YAY! I have been waiting for these scarfs for what will feels like ages due to the pandemic.
I have a soft spot for working with natural materials and creating an effortless merge of fashionable pieces with an authentic appearance. As a creative person, I love to combine my years of experience with my need for playing and experimenting. And finally, I love the idea of making a holistic design. This meaning a design that is not only fashionable, beautiful, and soft - but at the same time has a responsible story to tell.
My choice of raw materials, more specifically the yarns, settled with a linen and silk blend. Both fibers have many excellent characteristics to highlight. Both fibers are 100% natural and origins from Indian farmers.
Mixing silk and linen makes it possible to create a natural melange look. The fibers absorb the colors differently when garment dyed because linen is a plant/cellulose fiber, and silk is a protein fiber.
Knowledge is the key
Knowing the specifications on the fibers you chose is essential for the final result. Not that You can't achieve a melange look using other methods, but this will require a different process. Something that you'll need to be aware of from the sourcing stage. It all depends on the options available for you and how to work them to your advantage. Design requires knowledge and experience to succeed - or luck.
The silk used for my scarfs is Eri Silk. It is known as 'the fabric of peace' because the harvest does not kill the butterflies. >> Read more about Eri Silk here.
Artisans are a representation of human creativity and human labor. It is craftsmanship and cultural heritage, supporting the local economy and livelihoods.
No matter which country you'll visit, you will be able to find regions known for specific crafts and trades. In Denmark, where Hymness is based, these areas still exist, but today they stand more like a shadow of the past. Our production has been outsourced and replaced with headquarters and showrooms.
History has changed how we produce today. Clutters of specific craftsmanships will appear more vivid in some countries than others. What the future will bring, we'll need to guess...
India still has many rural artisans that are entirely dependent on their inherited craftsmanship. It has become a family trade to many, with a network of local supporting businesses dependent on each other. So supporting rural artisans also means supporting local communities.
Handloom vs. Powerloom
Today the weaver can be made by an artisan weaver or a factory, also called mills. In brief, Artisan weavers product is called hand-looms, while the mills are making power-looms. Both setups require a lot of preparation before starting the weaving. The mill, however, can produce faster and bigger quantities, meaning significant cost savings. On the other hand, you have the artisan weaver who requires a much lower minimum of yards.
Let's take my production as an example. If a mill should have produced my scarfs, they required 500 yards as a minimum. In this case! Sometimes it is more. That would have been overproduction and unnecessary for my brand. As an alternative, I could have bought a standard supply with more common fibers like viscose and cotton. By choosing an artisan weaver, I only needed 100 yards. And I was able to work with fibers of my choice - Linen, and silk.
There are visual differences between a power-loom and a hand-loom. Because artisan weavers typically spin the yarn, it will have a more authentic look that is more uneven than machine-spun yarn. Similar to a handknitted sweater. Mill woven fabric will always be more uniform in both weave and yarn. However, I could have sourced machine-spun yarn if I wanted and had the artisan weaver use this. However, this will again meet a higher minimum.
It is important to remember that all productions are unique - Every single time. There are multiple combinations because of the many variables in making a product, counting raw material, design, quantity, dying, printing ect. Every choice will leave its impact and consequences.
Certification or not, my scarfs have been dyed using herb dyes or azo-free colors, which means that they have been colored without harmful chemicals. This fact serves both me, my customers, the planet, and the people making my scarfs!
Roughly summarized - Supporting the mills means that the rich will be richer and vice versa; supporting artisans means supporting local societies. I would have loved to have a certification. However, few if any artisans can afford this. But knowing that I support heritage, craftsmanship, and a local community holds great value to me too