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Marianna Nello is a textile designer, who lives and breathes knowledge. Even though she’s very young she has an impressive range of skills and experience under her belt. As she’s keen on history, painting, different cultures and faraway places, she graduated in Culture and Fashion Design in Florence. During her studies, and also thanks to her teacher/weaver Laura De Cesare, she found her true calling: weaving. It was love at first sight!
Once graduated, she could finally leave her studies behind and concentrate on seeing the world. She lived in London, Tokyo and the USA, but it was the landscapes, sounds, colours and flavours of Japan that influenced and fascinated her the most. She lived there, with a host family, for six months and also attended a language school. The time spent in this Japanese environment somewhat influences her taste, which comes out in the fabrics she makes.
Her refined and simple style can be found in these cute cushions that she made using our Quipa yarn. An ultra-fine yarn that’s suitable for several uses and that also intensifies our collection even more. The outcome of this Quipa/weaving twosome is simply stunning. Check out the interview to learn more about Marianna Nello.
Bye for now!
Marianna Nello and weaving
DHG: Hi Marianna, tell us about your passion for hand weaving.
Marianna: my relationship with weaving is actually a bit controversial, a combination of love and hate! Sometimes it seems as if my looms just won’t work together and other times, they obey my every command. I came across weaving a few years ago, when I was attending my second year at University, in 2012. My studies were on textile-fashion, and one of the courses was in fact about the technical design of woven fabrics. It was my teacher, Laura De Cesare, who got me interested in hand weaving. Over the years I have come into contact with weavers who have remarkable experience and creativity; it’s thanks to these encounters that drove me to specialize in this area and got me where I am today.
D: How did you find working with our Quipa yarn? Its strong points?
M: It wasn’t an easy task to weave it, but it was worth it! Once I took it off the loom its ultra-fineness and super lightness had a distinctive softness. Given the fineness of this yarn, the warping process and putting it on the loom required special attention; during the weaving process I had to adjust the tension of the threads several times so that they didn’t break. All the shades of the available colours were even and matched, so much so that I found it hard to choose four colours for the cushions. Quipa’s strong points are for sure its fineness, softness and its versatility that makes it attractive both for creating fashion accessories and fancy things for the home.
D: what’s it like being a hand weaver nowadays?
M: weaving is an ever-changing ancient art worth getting to know better! Contemporary textile design is aimed at experimenting with new materials, shapes and space. Being a weaver in this day and age is definitely a challenge. You need to be motivated, enthusiastic and be open to ideas that come from other countries. That’s why I believe Instagram is an excellent platform for exchanges and comparisons for weavers of all ages.
D: if weaving was a sport what would it be?
M: that’s a tough one. Like I always say: “the loom is my gym”. Warping, wraping the warp around the rear beam, tying the pedals to the heddles and the general putting together of the frame, are all like physical exercise. When I’m tying ropes and pulling threads, I often end up in all sorts of positions (just like a yoga teacher)! Weaving helps to clear the mind and take your mind off things that are bothering you… so in a way, in terms of a relaxation technique it can be compared to yoga.
D: future projects?
M: I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and projects. I’d like to undertake the course of the research at a sensory perception level, and create a collection of tapestries and rugs with different materials that stir up emotions in the final consumer and bring back old memories.
D: two things you can’t live without.
M: one of my must-have travelling companions is without a doubt, my smartphone. I take it with me everywhere as it helps me to gather “visual notes” that are fundamental for inspiration in the future or just to reflect on unusual material or to match up colours that I find on my way. For example, on my last trip to Berlin, I was fascinated by the area dedicated to Islamic rugs. I had taken over 30 photos, which will come in handy for the creation of a future collection, without even realising it. The other thing is a bracelet with silver pendants that symbolize the main monuments of Florence. The place where my journey began and that will always hold a special in my heart.
Marianna Nello has made some really cute handwoven cushions using our Quipa yarn. Ultra-fine, super light and so versatile it can be used in a variety of ways. Want to find out more about the different uses of Alpaca? Take a look at this tutorial on how to make a cardigan using stunning colours.