Traditional Malian textiles in modern design | Ella La interior
On vosgesparis I always love to show the little gems in the mass of interior design products. Some time ago I spotted an image with cotton rolls stacked on each other, it was love at first site as they reminded me of the antic handwoven rolled up linen bread cloth that belonged to my Sardinian mother in law. It took me some time to find out where these rolls came from and who posted that image, and my search brought me to Ella Hustinx, founder of Elle La.
Inspired by age-old textile traditions from the Dogon region near Burkina Faso, where the Dogon people live and wanting to support the artisans who uphold these traditions she founded ‘Ella La’ in the Summer of 2020. Surprisingly Ella happened to live in the same area as me and was so kind to drop by my home to show me her work personally and tell me more about the artisans and the natural ingredients used for the cotton she now creates cushions and wall hangings from.
The cotton is hand – picked, spun and woven with local looms in strips about 15 centimeters wide and then coloured using the Bogolan technique where mud is mixed with natural dyes from tree bark, indigo leaves and plants. What I saw were the most beautiful pure colours: terra, indigo, cream and pale black and rolls with that little touch of ‘irregularity’ you only see when something is handmade.
Made locally with recycled filling
Ella designs all products herself and they are made in collaboration with Atelier Made Here, a studio based in Amsterdam East, where refugee tailors from mainly Syria stitch the pillows together. Ella: “Supporting the local economy by working with a local manufacturer enables us to reduce emissions, and produce on a smaller scale, based on real demand.
Elle carefully chooses her materials, aiming for naturalness, longevity and durability. The filling is recycled down feathers. In collaboration with the Amsterdam based thrift-shop De Lokatie we collect second- hand feather bedding which is cleaned and purified by bedding company Ducky dons in accordance with the ‘Responsible Down Standard’ (RDS).