The Embroidery Masterclass | WAFFLE Design x In The Window

In my eyes, the story behind a brand, independent designer/maker or even just someone doing what they love as a hobby, goes a long way in selling a product and creating a long term love affair with said company. It doesn’t matter where you end up, your roots are the most important thing in my eyes and it’s an absolute essential that your portray how you started and your journey from that point in every way possible.

A couple of weeks ago I was kindly invited to attend an embroidery workshop with Ciara of WAFFLE Design, organised by social storytellers, In The Window. If the promise of the narrative behind WAFFLE wasn’t enough, the chance to explore Sugarhouse Studios (home of Assemble) certainly was, although Ciara could have presented outside for all I cared as I was very eager to find out more about how the brand came about and of course have a go at creating my own little waffle to take home! 

On arrival, Ciara took us up to her small homely studio space and started to explain to us about how she works as well as the process of starting a piece from scratch. How sweet is the working environment? I love the textures of the swatches and fabrics as well as the little homely touches that the plants bring and the obvious necessity of your own products surrounding you in your space – truly inspirational! The home accessories range created by WAFFLE is inspired by the traditional waffle weave, using bursts of colour in the hand embroidered detail for a contemporary feel. Ciara uses a textured organic cotton, woven in Kerala, which is already utterly beautiful in it’s own right. The fabric travels to the UK by boat, is then organically dyed in Scotland before being hand embroidered in London – quite the journey, but one that is sustainable and beneficial to the environment and the livelihood of those that have spun and woven for generations. 

The process of embroidering the fabric is one that should be slow and therapeutic. Ciara embroiders in small batches using just a needle and wool to create the graphic strip detailing on her designs, quite the opposite to the mass production that we are surrounded by on a daily basis. I can assure you that the whole production is extremely relaxing and could easily help you whisk a day away. Cushions, rugs and other bespoke soft furnishings all make up the WAFFLE range, oozing qualities of true craftsmanship and a traditional artisan process, just what I like to see.

I was super excited to get started on my own little creation but when presented with bowls and bowls of thread, I was a little overwhelmed with the colour choice I had to make. I mean, what would you have selected from those colours, they’re all great right? In the end I was swayed by the beautiful array of pinks I had seen pop in some of Ciara’s own designs and I decided to be my normal self and try to do something a little different. To ensure the colours stand out from the fabric, Ciara recommended using two pieces of thread for each row. I decided to combine two colours for an ombré effect – something which Ciara said she hadn’t tried before so I really knew I was getting a waffle original / it was going to be an absolute disaster. The combination didn’t lead to the most perfect lines but I’m more of an experimental person than a perfectionist, so for me the result is just dandy. What do you think? Will I be joining the Waffle team any time soon? 

It really was an amazing experience being behind the scenes in such a lovely environment. Of course this post wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the lovely company on the night. Do go and check out these lovely bloggers and have a read of their posts: Uli, Gabby, Josephine, Daniel, Lucy, Emma and Van Anh. We chatted the night away whilst enjoying treats from NIX&KIX (so refreshing), Propercorn, Pop Chips and tasty macaroons from Dinah’s Desserts. If I wasn’t full enough the Mast Brothers treat in my One Must Dash goodie bag was a very very welcome snack for my journey home. Thanks once again to Ciara and In The Window for hosting such a perfect evening and I can confirm my waffle has already taken it’s first journey to Milan, but more to come on that soon!

Follow WAFFLE Design on TwitterInstagram and check out the In the Window story to see more of the collection. 

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