The beauty and tradition of Turkish textiles is deeply ingrained in the loom.ist collection. Founded by Cigdem Toraman and Nilufer Sener, this line of ethically crafted home goods is one of our favourites at Kala Home.
Get to know their story, what inspired them to create loom.ist, how they partner with artisans in their home country of Turkey, and what they are most proud of accomplishing thus far.
Also, be sure to enter to our Instagram giveaway for your chance to win two loom.ist throws, a perfect gift for you and yours, and a Kala Home gift card!
What inspired you to create Ark of Crafts and loom.ist?
Ark of Crafts and loom.ist was created with the motivation to bridge artisanal Turkish traditions with modern living. The rich, authentic Turkish crafts that reflect time-honoured traditions and years of experience should be treasured—and available for all to cherish. With this shared goal in mind, we set out to find the best artisans from all around Turkey, assemble them on a digital platform, and introduce their art to the world. We traveled around the country and met with copper masters, weavers, ceramic artists, block printing artisans, miniature artists, and more. In 2013, we launched arkofcrafts.com
. Then, in early 2017, we created the clothing and textiles label loom.ist.
Share with us a little about you and your business.
loom.ist is a collection of ethically conscious resort wear and home textiles created by hand. We approach production processes with the utmost care to ensure we are following sustainable best practices. Our products are designed specifically for comfort and can be worn all year long in all types of settings: the beach, at home, in town… All pieces are crafted from natural fibers that are hand-loomed in different regions of Turkey and transformed into fresh, timeless looks that reflect a casual yet vibrant lifestyle.
Tell us a little bit about the artisans and artisan groups you work with. How do you collaborate with them, how do you select who you work with? How are your products made?
We are committed to working with local artisans, women-led businesses, family enterprises, and community cooperatives that produce unique and high-quality products with great care. We provide sustainable incomes for local artisans and conduct business following the principles of fair and direct trade.
All pieces are ethically produced from high-quality Turkish cotton, using traditional processing, refining, and looming techniques. The cotton and linen yarns are coloured with environmentally friendly dyes, warped on authentic looms in small ateliers, and woven with great care by small family weavers.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
Everything around us... It can be a new artisan contact, a post on Instagram, local bazaars, a pebble by the shore and our lovely retailers and customers.
What is the one thing you are most proud of accomplishing with loom.ist?
Let's explain it with the words of Cigdem - one of the founding partners:
"I remember the fabrics swinging like balloons in the rough sea wind after being washed in the Black Sea,"
Cigdem recalls of her upbringing in Sile, a fishermen's village north of Istanbul. Her most beautiful childhood memories are from this town, where each house had its own handloom and women weaved their own fabrics, a beautiful tradition representing women's early attempts at self-efficacy and entrepreneurship.
"But, over time, the women stopped weaving, and the looms slowly started to disappear. I do not want these fabrics—and the traditions behind them—to be lost. That is why it has been my dream to bring Sile fabric back to the modern world."
What drew you to creating and designing home textiles?
We love to work on authentic textures, designs, looming techniques and evolve them to our modern life.
What feeling do you hope to embody in your home?
Calmness, coziness, softness, comfort, and for sure multi-functionality.
Anything else you would like to share.
Thank you for supporting Turkish artisans and loom.ist.
Find out more at loom.ist and on Instagram @loom.ist