This all began as an experiment with the intention of being resourceful while creating an interesting new material out of discarded 'soon-to-be-waste' fibers, a simple portable tool -a drop spindle-, and lots of loving hands.
Zaida's grandparents, her mother, her sister and some good friends all learned to spin and prepare this beautiful yarn. We have polished this technique over the past two years.
Our hand-knit + hand-spun recycled fabric yarn goods are made entirely by hand from 100% recycled fabrics at estudioBALMASEDA in New York and Puerto Rico. We gather most of our fabric scraps from local designer's cutting room floors, and occasionally receive donations from individuals and organizations. Some of our partners are STUDY-NY, Auralis, Daniel Silverstein, Textile Arts Center, and Miss Sportswear Inc.
These fabrics are sorted, cut into strips, attached, and hand-spun into a fantastic uniquely textured yarn. Then, we hand-knit them into one-of-a-kind pieces that allow the yarn to tell its story.
But, it is more than a special yarn; we chose to make pieces that can be worn in various ways, and that celebrate our diverse bodies. The tops are comfortable, and versatile to be used alone, layer them, turn them inside out or wear them backwards. Whichever way you decide to carry them, I am sure you will feel the love and care that went into their crafting.
Since much of this project has been developed in Puerto Rico, with the hope of having most of these pieces made there… I decided to honor my roots and invite a few close friends from my creative Puerto Rican community in New York to collaborate. We came together to produce images that were simple, genuine and expressed the holistic intention of this project. We caught up, dressed up, and discussed life in PR and away from it. Working with friends and sharing the joy of the artistic process yields wonderful results and fond long-lasting memories.
Maria Amelia Cotarelo, Daniela Fabrizi, and Patricia González (our models) contributed to the styling and direction of the shoot; their energy and support was the best gift.
Our photographer, Amaro Vega, is a long-time friend from my days at Central High School of Visual Arts in Santurce. We keep sharing our growth/ journey!
Photo-editing was done by my super-partner Dorian Iten.
And talented Director/Filmmaker Xavier Medina joined us to capture some behind-the-scenes whimsy.
I am incredibly grateful to have such kind-hearted and supportive people that continuously encourage, support, and contribute to BALMASEDA and my other creative endeavors.
Cheers to YOU!