Cordeles, 115€, size 140×190 cm, weight 1200 g, was the first design of the collection. The drawing is inspired by the sheep tracks through “the dehesa”. I like abstract designs in general, and Cordeles is the abstract part of the collection.
Quercus, 115€, size 140×190 cm, weight 1200 g, is inspired by the leaves from the oak tres, that you find in “the dehesa” of Extrmadura. It is a design with figurative drawings, the second one in the collection.
Cranes, 115€, size 140×190 cm, weight 1200 g, number three in the collection, inspired by the cranes that pass through “the dehesa” to rest and feed on the acorns and sedes, during their migration. I changed the design a Little, and opted to make a blanket with friezes, to bring variety to the collection.
When Concha Salguero (project coordinator of the Transhumance and Nature Association) called me in 2014 with a proposal to design a merino wool product from the pastures of Extremadura, I did not hesitate for a moment to accept the challenge. At that time I had been designing fabrics for interiors for years, but somehow I lacked another dimension in my work. Something more than design for design. The project of the sheep and the pasturelands seemed very interesting to me, and I was keen to get started.
Concha put me in contact with the Cabello-Bravo sheep farm of Siruela, Extremadura, a very enterprising farm, that is always looking for new ventures. With our shared passion of working with the wonderful merino wool from the pastures of Extremadura, we are trying to restore the prestige that the Spanish wool industry once had, to avoid it from ending up in China, as has been the norm for the last decades.
Spinning factory and fuller. Miguel Cordero and son.
I had total freedom to choose the product, the manufacture, the process, the place etc. It soon became clear to me that I wanted to design sofa blankets, being a simple, functional and useful product, and one size fits all. I had previously produced designs for blankets, but this time I had to take care of the whole process, from the washing and combing of the wool, the spinning, and the looms, finishing with the fulling and the final stitching. Having only a few kilos of wool at first, it took me a long time to find factories willing to produce for me in such small quantities. Once I had found the factories, a long road of research began on the quality of the yarn and the fabric. Hundreds of experiments have been done with the looms to reach the final product, the blanket.
Miguel Cordero’s fuller.
I chose the Jaquard technique, because it gives a lot of freedom of design, without the limitation of the traditional stripes and squares. And it has the plus of being reversible: the fabric has two sides. The looms are driven by computer, and any drawing can be used. I create my designs on the computer, and send them to the factory. It is the modern and digital part of the project. The other part, the washing and the fulling, is still a very traditional process, which impresses me a great deal. This mixture of modern technology with artesan methods I love. Modernity and tradition are combined in our daily life, and also manifest in my blankets.
Upcoming challenges: to expand the collection of blankets, with more models and colours, and to design new merino wool products from the pastures of Extremadura.