Salem Van Der Swaagh
Salem Van Der Swaagh has recently premiered a collection of hand-woven home goods, mainly carpets using fabrics and yarns from Bute Fabrics in a contemporary and innovative way. SVDS are committed to making tactile products that have both environmental and social impact.
Our products are designed and woven in Berlin, using 100% waste material from industrial weaving. We have relationships with European textile mills who produce heavy-weight wool upholstery. The waste of the fabric surplus to requirements is sent to us and through the craft of hand weaving we are able to repurpose it as highly textured, luxurious rugs and pillows, making our products 100% natural and sustainable.
Our first full collection is focuses on textural whites. In several of the images you’ll see Sam, who is legally blind because of his ocular albinism. He reached out to us, seeking an apprenticeship in weaving. We have worked on developing products that are highly tactile, and technically simple to weave. The tailoring of that process has informed the choice to focus on the materialization of the nuances and subtleties of the single color white in wool. These works favor tactility. Through this experience Sam has become an accomplished weaver and has produced much of the collection. The learnings from this relationship have gone both ways, and we’ve become acutely aware of the current conditions for blind and visually impaired people. The global unemployment rate for the blind in the US alone tops out at 75%. In Germany the unemployment rate is at 72%. We see an opportunity to provide a creative pathway towards meaningful work. - Salem Van Der Swaagh