Basketry was the focus of Loewe’s exquisite entry for this year’s Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Week), in a collection (titled Loewe Baskets) filled with objet d’arts and luxury accessories crafted out of leather using traditional weaving techniques from around the world.
One particular group of artisans whose works featured prominently in the collection is the “As Redeiras”, an all-female collective from Galicia (a region in north-west Spain) known for preserving weaving and knot-making techniques endemic to the community’s fishing industry for centuries. For the Loewe collaboration, they created a series of leather charms using these same techniques.
Here, a short Q&A with the collective on the collaboration with Loewe and how to care for their products:
On the significance of baskets in Galician culture
“In the old days, baskets were used to transport the fish after they have arrived at the dock.”
On how long it takes to craft a design
“It depends on the number of pieces it has, it could take between half an hour or an hour. It also depends on the type of key ring – for example, it is not the same for the stones key chain as the fish or egg key chain.”
On the process of making a piece
“First we would look at the procedure. Depending on the type of knot, we would cut the leather according to the measurements they gave us. We would choose the pieces and finally make the key ring with the corresponding piece and knot.”
On how the Loewe collection differs from their usual practice
“We usually do not work with leather but instead, work with recycled net, ropes and thread that we use to assemble the (fishing) nets.”
On how people should take of their pieces
“Ensure that the leather does not pull too much because it can yield or deform the knot. Also make sure that it does not get too wet, and that it is not in contact with chemical products.”