We often don’t pay much mind to what our feet step on, as long as it’s not a piece of LEGO. But what looks good to your eyes and feels good to your feet is of primary concern to Cheryl, founder of woofandloom, a shop that sells handwoven rugs and tapestries in Singapore.
We talk to her for this week’s #LocalBrandSPOTLight about why and how she picked up the art of the loom, Netflix and crafts in general.
Hello Cheryl. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed! Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Thank you Murphy! I started learning how to weave late last year, and usually do it after work or on the weekends.
Tell us about your brand name, woofandloom. How did you come up with that?
I simply combined my love for my dogs (two fluffy Samoyeds called Mentos and Souffle) and my love for my weaving loom, and woofandloom was born!
On your Etsy page, you state that you picked up weaving when you rented your first apartment. Did you learn how to work the loom by yourself? What was that like?
Besides downloading an online class for basic weaving techniques, I pretty much learnt as I went. There are certain nuances in the process that can only be understood as you do it, which is the pretty much the same for all hands-on crafts and cooking! I made a few pretty shitty rugs when I started.
Why weaving and not something more accessible like knitting?
I was influenced by traditional rug makers’ techniques of flat woven rugs, which are the “flat” designs that we typically see, and the heavily textured designs of tapestry weavers.
This inspired me to create “3D” rugs that are more texturally and visually complex. Making these rug designs also allows me to combine different yarn types (eg. boutique art yarn that’s hand-spun by small business owners, sari silk) to create a different tactile experience for our feet.
How did you decide to turn this from a hobby to a business?
Well, my rugs and tapestries kept piling up. I intrinsically love making them, and as people spend more time indoors due to COVID-19, felt that they would want to thoughtfully and artfully decorate their space.
What is your process like when it comes to your designs? Do you draw on paper and then translate it to the loom?
My process always changes! I sometimes start with a concept such as my Garden Path series. Other times, I’ll sit in front of my yarn stash and pick out colour combinations. Because I’m merging tapestry art into rugs that are designed to be stepped on, there are practical considerations when it comes to designing and selecting materials.
Do you do any other kind of crafts?
Yes! I occasionally do watercolours. I’ve also dabbled in pottery. Most crafters are naturally inclined to try their hand at other crafts.
What are the care instructions like for woofandloom’s products?
Definitely hand-wash only. Or as I like to do, hang them over a pole or railing and beat furiously to remove the dust. Kinda like how people used to clean carpets in olden days.
What are you inspired by?
The many talented weavers on Instagram! Paintings and scenery also inspire me.
What’s your favourite piece by yourself so far?
It’s full of textural surprises, and even has firm coral “knobs” that feels like those pebble walking paths meant to improve blood circulation for your feet.
What’s something about running a home-based business that Singaporeans might not know about?
It takes more time than one expects.
A lot of work goes into photographing Insta-worthy shots, creating content to stay engaging, doing behind the scenes videos… And this is all besides making the actual piece! It’s a tough journey but exciting nonetheless!
Do you listen or watch to anything when you are weaving? Or is it something that demands 100% of your attention?
Netflix will usually be playing, but when I’m in the zone the weaving takes up all of my mental energy. So I guess it demands all of my attention!
You can go on Cheryl’s Etsy store to look at what rugs and tapestries are currently available. Follow her on @woofandloom on Instagram so you can brighten up your feed with her soft, dreamy creations!
And that’s all for this week’s #LocalBrandSPOTLight!
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