11.09.2010

THE LUXURY OF HANDMADE







LE LUXE DU FAIT-MAIN 

During my last trip to Morocco 3 weeks ago, I decided to order a rug from a weaver in the Medina of Tangier. He had a small cotton and wool sample rug I thought was great but not in the right colors.

 I wanted a heather beige/browns background with the diamond shaped pattern of lines in undyed off-white and brown wool. A mixture of the 2 rugs below, more or less.  
We chose the different shades of cotton thread and we bought the large skeins of natural wool, the weaver having offered to make a sample. It appeared in the form of a roughly 18" by 18" piece 2 days later. 
I loved what I saw. So in went the order and delivery is scheduled for March. Inch alla -God willing-

If I mention this project at all, it is because I have been thinking of the luxury of "hand made". In this age of mass consumption, mass production, mass media, mass everything, the idea of something being made by hand, in small quantities, slowly and carefully really appeals to me. 
Food is by definition hand made- I don't mean processed, factory made foods of course, I mean a meal made from scratch with ingredients that are mixed, pealed, grated, cut up by hand and at some point cooked and savored. 
There is also a plethora of items we see and buy everyday that are hand made. Hand woven throws, hand knit rugs (yes!) and hand made furniture etc.

There are hand made shoes

Hand made bags

Hand crafted baby clothes


More and more the home is as much a place to showcase hand made items 

as fashion. 

Jewelry is almost entirely crafted by hand

as well as tableware and other home goods
images cn.china, ddcompany, mensapparelmart, adreienneposter via remodelista, portdouglasjewelry, alicia.bigcartel, teacupsandtadpoles, hermes, bonpoint
The pros are many:

- uniqueness 
- quality
- friendliness towards the environment
- customization

Contrary to what one might fear, "hand made" does not always mean more expensive; think China, recycle-reuse-repurpose and home made. 
Of course if you wish to purchase hand made shoes or bags from Hermes, hand embroidered linens from Noel, or custom shirts from Charvet, yes, then, you may have to pay the price. 
However, you may not have to fly to Morocco or India to have your jewelry or carpets made by hand. A lot of e.stores like Anthropologie, Etsy shops where everything is hand made, my favorite l'Aviva Home, and the Paris "brick and mortar" Compagnie de Francaise de l'Orient et de la Chine offer hand made items at very fair prices. 
So, jump on the new luxury bandwagon. I have a feeling that this is where true luxury is going. Apart from maybe the luxury of time- one of the topics of this post on Luxury- time for slow food, slow vacations and why not, a slow boat to China...

Oh, and I have been hand knitting a scarf. Did I mention slow?

au revoir.




5 comments:

  1. I love this post! I deal in antique textiles so I'm like the ultimate recycler. I love handmade items since they are better made then mass produced.I can't wait to see your new rug. I'm off to check out some of your recommended links...thank you!

    Debra,

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