THE IDEA

As a young textile student I found a small fragment of an old wool fabric, which looked like a twill, but the warp seemed to be going under one over one weft. Later a master weaver told me that it was, indeed, a plain weave, but made with over-twisted yarn, which gave it a twill-like structure. 

The idea never left me. While developing my designs, I worked as a teacher specializing in hand weaving, textile history and historical textile techniques, which gave me an insight into the methods I use today. In early 2000 I was ready to start my own studio.

WOOL

The wool I use comes from a native Finnish sheep breed of Kainuu Grey. The lambs are born black, but after the first shearing the color starts to fade from black to grey as they grow older. The wool is shiny and curly, but neither too soft nor too hairy. Kainuu Grey is nowadays an endangered breed, and preserving the breed is an integral part of my work.

The wool is sourced from a local organic farm. The fleece is hand sorted and then sent to a Finnish spinning mill to produce the thin and over-twisted yarn which gives the products their wavy character.

HAND WEAVING

Weaving by hand is time consuming, but I love seeing the fabric grow, weft by weft, and feeling the rhythm of the process in my body, no other power sources needed. My warps are long and naturally grey, plant dying is done afterwards. And while I cannot produce many throws and shawls a year, the ones I make will last a lifetime.

NATURAL DYEING

I use cultivated, historical dye plants such as woad, madder and weld, which have good UV resistance. Using rainwater for my vats does not only save drinking water, but it`s soft too. To use less water I also add the mordant directly to the dye bath. Another way not to waste water is to reuse the bath by adding more dye plants or by mixing previously used baths.

As mordant I use non-toxic alum, sometimes in summertime even nettle or rhubarb. For blue shades of woad and indigo I use a non-toxic fructose vat.

ABOUT

I was born in eastern Lapland near Nattanen mountain, but I’m now living and working in Turku in the southwest corner of Finland. 

Most mornings I take a walk in a near-by forest, and whenever possible, I return to the mountains of the north. But the Finnish nature is not just a source of inspiration to me, the need to protect its fragile ecosystem guides every step of my working process.