Describing a product as “handmade” nowadays means something that is not mass produced. Usually, craftsmen and craftswomen do not actually work on the raw materials being used. They simply connect the parts. Even so, two women, a mother and her daughter, based in northern Crete, go to the trouble of making truly handmade products, and, in doing so, are redefining contemporary fashion trends.
Mrs. Eleni and Antonia, her daughter, make woven bags on a hand-operated loom dating back to 1910. They apply the same techniques used by their predecessors.
During this venture’s earlier days, tourists would enter Mrs. Eleni’s workshop and typically exclaim “a loom, a loom!”
After asking what the word meant, she decided to adopt it as the brand name for her woven bags series in progress at the time.
Looms existed in virtually every local household until roughly the end of World War II. Women used these tools to create products such as blankets, bed sheets, clothes, and underclothing for soldiers. Using two looms owned by the family over the past century, Eleni and Antonia distribute their extremely elegant bags to shops throughout Greece.
Working on a loom is a demanding and difficult task, they acknowledged.
“You need to be calm to weave properly on the loom. Both mind and body must be focused on it. It requires continual counting when working, while the moves required are physically demanding for the entire body. There’s no way that you can work for more than eight hours. But it’s a magical thing to be making something completely new on an old loom,” Mrs. Eleni explained.
The raw materials used by the duo – cotton, wool, and leather – are all entirely natural products and hail primarily from Crete. Each bag requires about a week to be made. All are singular pieces. The same pattern is never repeated. Customers may request their preferred colors and a rough design guide.
For further information visit the Loom website.