The Pomegranate Blog

Spotlight on the Beautiful Eri Silk Cushions by Annaloom

Spotlight on the Beautiful Eri Silk Cushions by Annaloom

Last September, as I was walking through the halls of Top Drawer, an interiors & gifts trade show in London, I stumbled across a wonderful brand called Annaloom.

I hadn't yet found anything spectacular at the fair, but, tucked away among the stands of my favourite section of the show called Craft, was the most delicate, pretty, soft and lovely assortment of cushions and throws, in subtle, subdued tones of yellows, blues and magentas.

Immediately, of course, I started to pick all of them up and looking around to find out who was responsible for this gorgeous display! And so I met Anna-Louise Meynell, who is the designer and founder of Annaloom.

Anna-Louise is a passionate textile designer who has immense knowledge of traditional silk weaving, particularly Eri Silk which is native to North East India. I really enjoyed learning about her brand and her products as well as her passion for silk-weaving.

I hadn't heard of Eri Silk, but I could see it on the wonderful cushions and throws on the Annaloom display. It's got great texture, it's super soft and full of character. I was curious to know a little more.

Anna-Louise explained that Eri Silk is also known as 'peace silk' as the silk worms are not harmed in the extraction of the silk from the cocoon. The moths leave the cocoon, which are then harvested for the silk to be spun. She's particularly fond of this type of silk for this reason, and also because its texture, strength and characteristics make it ideal for making decorative textiles like cushions and throws.

The Eri Silk is hand-spun, hand-dyed and entirely hand-woven. This type of production has been quietly going on in remote villages in North East India for generations, but now there's more awareness of this craft and efforts are being made to keep it alive and to help it and its villagers thrive. 

Anna-Louise is involved in helping raise awareness of Eri Silk weaving and she designed the Annaloom collection to help do just that. So let's take a look at some of her Eri Silk products.

The Annaloom Avani Cushions in Eri Silk

 

Annaloom Avani Indigo Cushion made with Eri Silk

 —  The Annaloom Avani Indigo cushion. The delicate weave cleverly creates blocks of colour of different intensity and pattern. You can really see the fluffy, slubby texture of the silk in the close-up can't you?

Annaloom Avani Turmeric Cushion in Eri Silk

—  The Annaloom Avani Cushion is also available in this sunny Turmeric colourway, which is bright & sunny and - dare I say it - on trend!

Eri Silk From Cocoon to Loom

The Eri Silk Worms at Work Weaving their Cocoons

—  The Eri Silk worms at work weaving their cocoons

Annaloom Eri Silk Cocoons Pre Spinning

—  The Eri Silk cocoons being collected without harming the worms, here ready to be spun

Annaloom Eri Silk Fibre Yarn After Being Woven

—  The Eri Silk fibre yarn - slubby and textured.

Annaloom Eri Silk Turmeric Dyeing

—  The Eri Silk is hand-dyed with natural dyes. Here Turmeric is being collected, the root broken down to produce the dye and then the yarn is dyed by hand to produce the wonderful yellow hues you can see on the Avani Turmeric cushion (it's even in the name!)

Natural Dyeing of the Eri Silk takes place in villages in North East india

—  Hand dyeing taking place in villages in North East India 

Colourful Hand Dyed Eri Silk Hanging to Dry

—  Beautiful colourful hand-dyed Eri Silk hanging to dry - gorgeous hues!

Rice paste being applied to the Eri Silk warp before going on the loom

—  Before the warp is ready to go on the loom, it is treated with rice paste to strengthen the silk whilst weaving

Rice paste being applied to the Eri Silk warp before going on the loom

—  More warp yarn being treated with rice paste before going on the loom

Rice paste being applied to the Eri Silk weft before going on the loom

—  This time, rice paste is applied to the weft before going on the loom 

The loom room set up to start weaving the yarn into fabric

 —  The loom room is all set up to start weaving the yarn into fabric

The loom being set up to start weaving

—  The loom being set up to start weaving

The Eri Silk being hand-woven on a loom soon to become a beautiful fabric

—  The Eri Silk being hand-woven on a loom soon to become a beautiful fabric

The Annaloom Avani Turmeric cushion in all its beauty and with a lovely story to tell...

—  The Annaloom Avani Turmeric cushion in all its beauty and with a lovely story to tell...

Bring a Little Annaloom Magic Into Your Home

I hope you've enjoyed discovering the story of Eri Silk as much as I did. I feel it's so nice to know that crafts like these are being appreciated in today's mass consumer market, and that they are flourishing thanks to the efforts of sensitive, passionate and creative people like Anna-Louise.

If you'd like to treat yourself to a gorgeous Eri Silk cushion by Annaloom, then you can see the collection available at Pomegranate here.

'till next time...

Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Annaloom

5 comments

Mar 04, 2017

Beautiful images. Love the colours. Gorgeous cushions.

Ali
Mar 04, 2017

Hi Sarah and thank you for your comment. Yes I also like the very ethical and humane way in which this silk is gathered. Happy you enjoyed the post. :)

Nicole
Mar 04, 2017

Thank you for such a lovely comment Mona. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the story and seeing the Annaloom cushions come to life. ?

Nicole
Mar 04, 2017

What a wonderful blog. I am very interested – it appears so natural and what pleases me is that the silk worms aren’t harmed during the process. Thank you for sharing.

Sarah Hughes
Mar 03, 2017

Lovely story of these worms and their produce! And what a route they travelled. It is heartwarming. Thank you for bringing to us such delicate marvels.

Mona

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