Behind the Scenes - Handwoven Solutions to Winter

by - Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A classic wool and silk shawl from the Avani co-operative in northern India.
The artisans live close to the Tibetan border where the Himalayas are clearly visible.
The morning we began working on this promotion it was cold and pouring with rain. Not uncommon in the Pacific Northwest and quite typical for the entire Vancouver winter. We wanted to present some of the best qualities of our shawls; the fact that they are such a cosy, warm, versatile solution to winter. But we didn't want to emphasize the leaden skies, or get soaked taking the pictures.

 Our first solution was to take advantage of some of the many colourful spaces on Granville Island. The island has many converted warehouses from shipbuilding. Our stores are both located in the Net Loft which was where the fishing nets were repaired and hung. When our store first opened in 1987 there was still a faint reminder of all the fishy-ness that used to be here.

Another wool/silk shawl from the Avani
co-operative in gorgeous reds.
So we started under cover. The shot on the left was taken in one of the parking garages. Nice. Colourful. Warm. Not at all like winter. And so ... not what we were after.

Then, very suddenly and quickly, the rain stopped, the skies opened up and the sun came out. OMG!

We packed our gear, abandoned the car park and scampered outside. Granville Island has lots of corrugated metal which is painted wonderful colours. Some of buildings exactly matched our shawls. What luck.

A mult-warp masterpiece from Bengal woven in silk and cotton.
The blue skies were fleeting and every so often a heavy cloud would obscure the sun. We headed to the docs where every five minutes small ferries cross false creek to downtown Vancouver.

Some rare sun picks out the details on a silk shawl.
Made from two wild silks; tussar and eri; and hand embroidered
with cotton motifs this shawls is a cozy wrap to keep out the cold.

Charllotte and Sophena work together to get the look perfect on a
a Bengal weave. This one is a combination of two wild silks: eri and tussar
A few more shots with a (for the moment unnecessary) umbrella and our shoot was done.

See our completed promo here. Our thanks to the weather for co-operating!

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