In celebration of transparency the question #whomademyclothes is asked and answered again this week. 2 years ago I shared with you the Butterfly cape making. This year it’s the Team Mittens’ and this winter’s new design’s turn. For the readers not recognising the faces above the Team Mittens is myself and my Mam.
My Mam is a very enthusiastic knitter and the results of her work are absolute top class. Last summer she was quite bored having to stay in the shade the best of its days because the heat was too much for her. To cheer her up I asked if she’d be interested in doing a bit of work for me for a little change from solving the crossword puzzles. The answer was an excited yes and at the end of the following 4-day-period she set down in front of me the 2 neatest pairs of one size mittens for further processing.
First I stitch the second-hand leather patches on the palm side of the wool (80%)-polyamide (20%) mittens. I punch the patch edges for easy sewing. The leather I use in my work is sourced from the local Recycling Centres. It’s either industrial waste or, the most preferably, old great-condition leather garments that I hand-pick with care to re-use most productively.
The palms attached the tuft sewing can start.
The tuft of the white pair is re-used wool that I took out of an old Eco Faux Furs piece some time ago, when re-designing it. The lengths are not difficult to sew back into a new item with a short large-eye blunt embroidery needle.
The tuft yarn is tightly twisted 100% lambswool that doesn’t fray when cut. The Finns said to be its inventors I’ve used the products of the 2-3 main suppliers throughout the years. However finding out only recently their wool is not of Finnish origins I’m very keen to arrange and get the local spinners to make the traditional rya yarn for me.
Tufted all over I build the lining with lightweight and warm, super soft (20%)-lyocell (80%) jersey material and hand-stitch it in the mittens. Black for the black pair and off-white for the white.
The making of the mittens is described above in a nutshell. In the backstage several iteration rounds and hours of testing in the target conditions (please browse through my Instagram posts and stories) happened. The process in full resulted in a unisex pair of accessories comfortable in the arctic conditions.
In creating different looks with them only one’s imagination is the limit. Below is the Street Style look photographer Mari Mäntynen put together with them on model Catrin Edlund for her recent Eco Fashion photo reportage.
It’s quite natural the mittens will get dirty. One shouldn’t be afraid to use them just normally though as they can be hand-washed by following the instructions I made for washing the Heli MG slippers a couple of years back. For the final touch after the quick wash the mittens palms are rubbed with a small amount of regular skin moisturiser to preserve the softness and elasticity of leather. Cared well - and mended should any need arise - the fully biodegradable pair serves one a lifetime.