FIELD NOTES

Handloomed Textiles

Origins

FIELD NOTES

Handloomed Textiles

Origins

FIELD NOTES

Handloomed

Textiles

Origins

Technically speaking, the primary definition of progress is “to move forward or onward in space and time.” A less prominent classification (it ranks number three according to Merriam-Webster) is “gradual betterment,” noted as, “especially: the progressive development of humankind.”

Technically speaking, the primary definition of progress is “to move forward or onward in space and time.” A less prominent classification (it ranks number three according to Merriam-Webster) is “gradual betterment,” noted as, “especially: the progressive development of humankind.”

At wMM, we tend towards the latter take, but we don’t view progress as a linear path. We believe progress is an indirect journey woven by space and time, cultures and customs. This perspective stretches beyond semantics to explain our love of and dedication to preserving craft.

In a world where products are predominately machine made, we prize those that celebrate the human hand — creations that place an individual at the center of every step in the creation process. When it comes to textile development, that means everything from the spinning and dyeing of base fibers to finished one-of-a-kind fabrics. This artisanal chain ensures perfectly imperfect results precisely because each phase is performed by a person, rather than automated equipment. 

At wMM, we tend towards the latter take, but we don’t view progress as a linear path. We believe progress is an indirect journey woven by space and time, cultures and customs. This perspective stretches beyond semantics to explain our love of and dedication to preserving craft.

In a world where products are predominately machine made, we prize those that celebrate the human hand — creations that place an individual at the center of every step in the creation process. When it comes to textile development, that means everything from the spinning and dyeing of base fibers to finished one-of-a-kind fabrics. This artisanal chain ensures perfectly imperfect results precisely because each phase is performed by a person, rather than automated equipment. 

Imagery by Nest

Imagery by Nest

The same paradigm applies to the weaving process itself. Mechanized looming machines can weave quickly, but their set-up is time consuming and costly, mandating large minimum orders that prohibit independent brands, like wMM, from exercising creative freedom. On the flip side, working with artisans operating hand or foot looms means minimum orders are smaller. This reduces waste (we only produce as much material as we need), adding an eco-conscious bonus. It also provides an opportunity for dialogue, which is why every season we collaborate with artisans around the globe to craft bespoke textiles that unite our creative inspiration with their inimitable, time-honored skills. But our motives are more than just monetary or aesthetic.

The same paradigm applies to the weaving process itself. Mechanized looming machines can weave quickly, but their set-up is time consuming and costly, mandating large minimum orders that prohibit independent brands, like wMM, from exercising creative freedom. On the flip side, working with artisans operating hand or foot looms means minimum orders are smaller. This reduces waste (we only produce as much material as we need), adding an eco-conscious bonus. It also provides an opportunity for dialogue, which is why every season we collaborate with artisans around the globe to craft bespoke textiles that unite our creative inspiration with their inimitable, time-honored skills. But our motives are more than just monetary or aesthetic.

For F/W ’18, we worked with artisans in India to create a tactile handloomed striped textile with undulating lines the echo the geographical planes of the American Southwest.

For F/W ’18, we worked with artisans in India to create a tactile handloomed striped textile with undulating lines the echo the geographical planes of the American Southwest.

We believe deeply in preserving weaving traditions, which have served both functional and artistic purposes since, essentially, the dawn of woman. That’s why many societies define weaving as a basic skill and living artifact — a way to ensure a culture’s continued existence.

It is sometimes the act of weaving that ensures such survival. In many communities, weaving is a communal activity that allows women to earn an income while watching their children and exchanging stories. Other times, it is the finished textile that communicates the intersection of past and present. Often, it is both.

We believe deeply in preserving weaving traditions, which have served both functional and artistic purposes since, essentially, the dawn of woman. That’s why many societies define weaving as a basic skill and living artifact — a way to ensure a culture’s continued existence.

It is sometimes the act of weaving that ensures such survival. In many communities, weaving is a communal activity that allows women to earn an income while watching their children and exchanging stories. Other times, it is the finished textile that communicates the intersection of past and present. Often, it is both.

Video provided by Stories + Objects

We choose to collaborate with communities and organizations that respect these rituals and realities as much as we do by placing the best interest of the artisans and their traditions at heart. To go back to our particular definition of progress… “Gradual betterment” of the fashion industry, how it treats people and the environment, is one of the primary reason we founded wMM and it remains at the core of our mission.

We choose to collaborate with communities and organizations that respect these rituals and realities as much as we do by placing the best interest of the artisans and their traditions at heart. To go back to our particular definition of progress… “Gradual betterment” of the fashion industry, how it treats people and the environment, is one of the primary reason we founded wMM and it remains at the core of our mission.