My name is Carmen Garcia, and I love working with textiles.
There are many things I like about felt making: It’s an ancient and versatile craft with as many styles as there are felt makers; the fact that you only need wool fibres, water and soap to create a piece; the fact that there is no machinery required…hands are all you need; the way it invites us to slow down, to follow the process and embrace some unanticipated results as the fibres seem to have a mind of their own at times.
There are also many aspects of Millinery that I like: The fun side of making a hat, the challenges of constructing an idea and, of course the hand stitching, which I could be doing for hours.
The path that brought me here
My working life has been quite diverse: hospitality, teaching, translating and Embassy staff. Although I was always creative through my hobbies (jewelry making, millinery, felt making… ), I felt it wasn’t enough.
A few years ago, in a bold move taking leave from my job in the Spanish Embassy, I decided to follow a road for which I had no map, and explore working with textiles.
It is no coincidence that I chose textiles as the art discipline for me. The women in my mother’s family were and are skilled textile artists. Although they never called themselves artists. Women who produced amazing works of art in embroidery, lace,crochet or dress making never did. But artists they were and they are.
I love hats so my first “thing” in textiles was millinery. I soon discovered felt making and mixed both in my hat making practice. It all seemed like a natural progression.
In tune with nature, at the heart of everything
Like a lot of us, I believe the fashion future is in sustainable, ethical, slow fashion. Hand felting is, as well as a sustainable process, a process that invites us to slow down. Allowing time, hands on their own are able to create the alchemy, and transform fibres into felt, with just the help of water and soap.
A concern about the impact of the fashion industry on both the environment and on people’s lives is at the core of my brand. Principles of sustainability are applied through all the decisions taken in the process (sourcing of materials, no waste policy, lables, packaging, upcycling materials etc…)
Now that the spiral of “faster”, where more was never enough, has been put on hold, the art of slow seems to me more relevant than ever.