the label + our philosophy
BALMASEDA is a project about wearables by textile artist Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda.
A small label that creates one-of-a-kind garments and products that embrace mindful making processes by combining humble materials with exquisite artisanal techniques. A hands-on manifesto of the symbiotic relationship we can have with our materials, what we make, use, eat, and the environment.
Produced in small batches using exclusively ethically grown/processed fibers and recycled materials – sourced locally whenever possible. This project explores the realm between Art and Craft, and involves development of new techniques while maintaining a deeply rooted respect for traditional craftsmanship.
BALMASEDA is designed/knit/spun/dyed by artist/designer/concoctionist Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda, and often produced in collaboration with mother/seamstress/creative marvel (with magical hands), and her wonderful studio assistants between Brooklyn (New York) , Bayamón (Puerto Rico), and Barcelona (Spain).
We work with local designers, artists, and craftsmen to promote their work and wonderful skills while they help us create a bit of magic.
Our photographers are our talented friends: Jordan Cortese, Michael Butterfin, Amaro Vega, and Dorian Iten. These sharp-eyed individuals share some of our values, and rejoice in depicting the reality of people. Our models are not “just bodies”, they are also creative friends and supporters who represent diverse and natural beauty.
Thank you Mallory Matoush, Anne Taylor, Patricia González Ramírez, María Amelia Cotarelo, and Daniela Fabrizi for animating our creations.
We’ve also partnered with various local companies to collect and transform their textile waste into our beautiful ‘hand-spun recycled fabric yarn’. Amongst our donation partners are STUDY-NY, Auralis, Daniel Silverstein, Textile Arts Center, and Miss Sportswear Inc.
We cultivate a holistic approach to everything we do. Operating with transparency is important to us, as is community engagement, and contributing to various environmental and social causes.
- Canopy Initiative - We have vouched to protect ancient and endangered forests. We encourage you to sign the pledge too!
- Green Tree Textiles
- Catalysta’s Dream Job series
- Los Padres Foundation Mentorship program
- International High School at Lafayette’s Mentorship/Internship program
We also offer educational demonstrations and participate in panel discussions to create awareness and share our process at events like Manufacture NY’s Textile Summit, Eileen Fisher’s Earth Month programming with Sass Brown, and Slow Fashion Spain’s “The Art of Slow Fashion".
We work exclusively with ethically grown/milled/processed fibers and recycled materials; all sourced locally whenever possible.
- Our Organic Cotton Sateen and Organic Cotton Voile are both grown, spun, and milled in the USA.
- Our Organic Cotton Jersey is GOTS Certified and supplied by Pickering International.
- For our quilted goods we use 100% Recycled PET Batting.
- Our Undyed Shetland Wool yarn comes from Hudson Valley Sheep & Wool Co.
- We occasionally upcycle deadstock yarns such as alpaca, mohair, wool and bamboo.
- Our hand-spun recycled-fiber yarn is made by hand from 100% mixed recycled fibers that we gather from designers’ production room floors (cut-offs) and other facilities that have unwanted textiles which would otherwise become waste. This yarn is also made at estudioBALMASEDA both in Puerto Rico and New York.
Our Production Methods
BALMASEDA is designed/knit/spun/dyed by Zaida Adriana Goveo Balmaseda, and produced in collaboration with mother/seamstress/creative marvel, and her wonderful studio assistants between Brooklyn NY, and Puerto Rico. Both healthy working environments that allow the makers to see each piece they construct from beginning to end, and providing the creative satisfaction that gets lost in the assembly line/factory setup.
With humble ingredients as a point of departure, we create unique surfaces/textures through creative employment of traditional hand-work techniques such as hand-spinning, natural-dyeing, hand-knitting, free-motion quilting, crochet, and hand-embroidery.
Many of our pieces are reversible (front & back, inside & outside), transformable, or modular. All of our pieces are finely crafted, made to become future heirloom pieces. With these intentions we encourage our customer to consume less but more consciously.
Each of our creations has a unique serial number that tells its story (including where the materials come from, when it was made, by whom, and where). Because of the labor intensive techniques we use, every item is one-of-a-kind.
Our hand-dyed fabrics are colored only with plant dyes which are extracted and ‘cooked’ at our studio. We use Alum and Soda Ash as mordanting agents (when necessary), and keep our water usage to the minimum. We only wash our fabrics with non-toxic, fragrance/color-free detergents that are gentle on mother nature.
We create very little textile waste and all the cut-offs from our ‘woven’ pieces are turned into buttons, or spun into yarn.
Our business cards and other paper goods are made with recycled materials as much recycled content as available, and non-toxic inks whenever possible.
Some of our hangers are hand-made by Zaida Adriana’s grandfather out of reclaimed wood (gathered in upstate NY) and recycled metal hangers. Our other hangers are made out of 100% recycled content, FSC Certified, K2 Paper Fiberboard.