“For me, the important thing about my products is that they’re 100% undyed, natural and handmade, with minimal use of energy and machinery,”
says woven-textiles designer Maria Sigma. “That makes them quite unique, and really friendly for humans and the environment.” Maria, who grew up in Athens and spent her summers on a Greek island, has always taken inspiration from her childhood. Surrounded by her great-grandmother’s friends in the summer months, she used to watch them crocheting beautiful pieces for their homes: “That was the beginning of my interest in textiles and craftsmanship.” Her first degree was in textile conservation; later, in London, she specialised in hand-weaving at the Chelsea College of Arts. She is dedicated to “zero waste” design.
Maria’s yarn comes from mills in Lanarkshire and Yorkshire, helping her to maintain a small carbon footprint. Wool has excellent qualities for interior textiles: it is odour, water and dust resistant, durable and practical, but also biodegradable.
On her loom she uses a “double cloth” – two warps on top of one another – to allow her to weave cushions, throws and rugs with minimal waste and very little stitching.
“As you weave, you’re going through the weft – so the warp and the weft cross over to make the fabric.”
After the weaving, the products are washed, dried, steamed, stitched – if necessary – and brushed.
“Undyed fabrics are much less toxic and more sustainable. My products are for the home, and I like the fact that they’re both functional and natural.”Maria Sigma