Our beloved studio is at The Palms in Woodstock.
145 Sir Lowry Road, Second Floor, West Wing Studios, Cape Town, South Africa.
If you'd like to experience our products & meet our looms, please pop in, we'd love to meet you!
We're typically in 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday, but as a small studio please get in touch before hand to make sure I'm available to welcome you.
Open Studio is a Saturday morning once a month specifically dedicated to sharing the love and passion behind all things LEILA ATELIER.
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Follow below to see what we've thinking about and working on
I truly love the end of the year holiday season. I'm a huge fan of setting intentions and reflecting on what has come. This January I've been feeling the new year energy particularly strongly and what it's been undeniably calling me toward is a rebrand.
It feels big and risky, but I've learnt that fortune favours the brave and that my intuition can't be ignored. So here we are, beginning the transition from the small seed which was Crosspolynations into a new, simplified foundation as LEILA ATELIER. I am proud to put my name behind the work I create, curate & collaborate on and can't wait to materialise my wildest dreams from this new grounded base.
A note on materials.
This is a conversation I find myself having often enough that I feel it poignant to put it in writing here.
When crafting anything, ones possibilities are limitless, but to create something, to be able to move ahead at all, decisions need to be made and the choice of raw materials is a fundamental one.
from the start of this studio practice, 100% natural has been an absolute non negotiable. The resonance of natural fibre revealed itself to me in my earliest days of weaving and it is not something I will ever abandon. But even that decision is not much of a limit, the breadth and richness of options within natural fibre is undeniable. I would love to explore a variety of materials, especially silk & linen. But the reality is that South Africa is a fibre rich country. We have a history of industrial scale cotton production, a wealth of wool and are the world leading supplier of Mohair. As such, the decision to focus on using locally sourced fibres is one made with simple clarity, and that before even considering the environmental cost of international shipping.
And so where we stand currently is an offering predominated by locally sourced natural cotton which is easy to use, to wash, to live with and then select items using luxurious mohair and wool produced locally, or from vintage stashes.
If you have any further curiosity on the topic, I love talking about materials, supply chains and intentional decision making, please do get in touch.
A little love from our December Open Studio
Weave been having fun !
Back in June 2022 at a somewhat quiet market in the freezing cold in JHB the idea sprung to me to chop up some cloth & sew the pieces into a jacket. I've had a couple early prototypes of this idea hanging around the studio ever since and they have garnered more attention from whoever comes through the door than almost anything else we've been doing.
The year has been full of orders, often scheduled months ahead and I've been trying to focus & overcome challenges as they arise, which they sure have. Now, as the year draws to an end I've found a little room to play, and finally gotten into the realm of garments.
I'm really excited for this new adventure and above all for the connection that it promises to bring.
Weavers are known to be somewhat quiet, introverted types who dedicate long patient hours in solitude to the craft.
But the reality is that connection is what lies in the root of all craft, of all experience.
As such, we've just celebrated our inaugural open studio day, a practice which I hope to make a regular occurrence moving forward.
The true value of handwoven, and hand crafted textiles is an absolutely sensory experience, something which can be led toward but not entirely communicated through images. It's an honour to share this experience and to show the intricate process behind the product.
If a Saturday morning surrounded by textiles with a glass of bubbles and a foray at a loom sounds like a good time to you, sign up to the newsletter or check in on instagram to make sure you've got the next one in your diary
Although I'm definitely missing the energy & spirit of my dear studio mate, his recent departure has allowed the expansion of the studio into quite a beautiful thing.
The flow has become much more functional and with the additional spaciousness I've been able to really focus on creating a retail area in the studio in which our stock can be beautifully displayed & easily engaged with.
The energy in the studio is really quite magical, it's a place of lightness, warmth and calm. There's an undeniable air of grounding and the invitation to pause and engage with the senses.
If you'd ever like to pop by and feel it for yourself, please do get in touch. x
Working with interior designers to create unique pieces to finish their projects with has been one of the greatest joys of the year. I love engaging with their vision and finding ways to craft special pieces which add a little magic towards materialising it.
I've recently put together sample packs of our standard cloth weight & colour options. If you're working on a project & feel that our products are aligned, please get in touch, so that I can share them with you.
A Sweet moment in studio of two one of a kind cushions named SILT.
Borne of an intuitive meandering through memories of a road trip shortly after intense floods while weaving my way through the cloth which would eventually become this once off pair. Featuring a black border detail, reminiscent of many traditional cloths handwoven in India which I encountered on a previous trip.
And now for what is probably the most exciting news to come out of this studio this year. My dearest studio assistant Zanele is now a weaver !
Late July this year I fell running a trail and broke my wrist. It was a seriously tough time, on top of the physical pain I was entirely incapacitated and feeling the pressure of looming deadlines and all the rest that goes with business.
I quickly decided to adopt the mindset that this was the best thing to ever happen to me, which allowed me to release my grip on control and find ways to expand beyond myself.
Zanele was thrilled to finally be given the opportunity and me physically forced into the patience I needed to instruct and guide her. It has been such an incredible delight to see her becoming empowered and energised by the practice and I am so excited for the opportunities our expanded production capacity will bring.
For those of you who may know, I've been sharing the studio with my dear friend Kyle for the last 11 months. He has been the most wonderful companion and support, bringing calm, balance and focus to the studio through his practice as Colour Yoga With Kyle.
This month he leaves to pursue his dreams in Portugal. I will miss him, and the variety of colour he brought to the studio.
Its a bittersweet moment as we loose a companion but gain the entirety of the studio. As consolation I have painted the wall the colour of Leila, a warm earthy tone with loads of texture which brings to life my ancient palazzo dreams and I am delighted to share it here
Introducing our newest throw design!
Meet, The Altar Throw
A fine grid design has been on my mind for quite sometime and I am so thrilled with how this style has come out. She's the perfect balance between a minimal grid while still having the unique handwoven pattern which is so key to our aesthetic at this point.
We've finished her using the nostalgic yet timeless blanket stitch to make for neat & long wearing edges.
Introducing our latest member of our family, Mika !
She's an absolute power-house, work-horse and comes to me through my dear friend Carle. I am so grateful to be entrusted with this ancient yet highly practical old girl. What she means is that we can now produce wider width throws and as she becomes our primary production loom, hopefully free up some time on my first love, Ulla, to weave more artwork.