I met Razaan at a New York market when I came to a dead stop in front of her artful layout and let out an audible gasp. She laughed and introduced herself - an artist in Cape Town, South Africa, pushing the envelop to experiment in the artistry of felt.
Razaan pounds layers of wool roving - the fiber before it is spun into thread - andkneads it like dough. Slowly, under long periods of pressure, moisture, and heat, the tiny fibers open and lock arms with one another forming a cloth, not woven, but cajoled into being.
But then, she keeps going to form an imaginative fine line - squiggly, handmade, imperfect - and layers it in. The chicest thing I’ve seen in stripes for quite a while.
Razaan invites women from the poorest areas of CapeTown to learn her techniques and work with her in the studio. For them, it’s a fine line between health and life in a hell-hole. Between prosperity and poverty. Between hope and another day without it.
From her studio, stunning and innovative blankets and throws are making their way across Europe, and now, quietly, into this country at ibu. For interiors, modern and classic, these handsome throws dress the end of a bed, the back of a chair, or curl up with you on a a sofa.
There’s a fine line between CapeTown and Charleston, between felting and feeling strong, between you and me and the women of ChicFusion. It’s a line worth walking, I want to say - this random, but beautiful thread between two worlds.
All the best,
Susan Hull Walker