The London-based and award-winning textile designer specialises in ‘zero waste’ ethical hand-woven textiles for interiors. Maria Sigma studied at Chelsea College of Art & Design and since she graduated in 2014, she has developed her own weaving practice in London. Maria talks about her work, her inspiration and her vision of sustainable design.
Inspired by her Greek heritage, in combination with love for maths and craftsmanship she makes vibrant, but minimal, contemporary textiles. She strives to decrease to the minimum yarn waste and unnecessary cuts, carbon footprints, the use of machinery, water and electricity. By adhering to a ‘zero waste’ philosophy, she aspires to make hand-weaving an even more sustainable craft. Through ‘zero waste’ design and craftsmanship and by emphasising the texture and the raw state of the cloth, and removing any superfluous elements, she aims at producing honest textiles designed to become timeless heirlooms.
Maria strongly believes that the importance of weaving must be highlighted. “Fabrics reside in the everyday and inhabit almost every corner of a household; they create a boundary between us and nature, the culture of the body and the external world. They contribute in creating a sense of something familiar and beloved”, she says.
“The determinant role textiles play in our life, the power of colour, or the lack thereof, the achievement of high aesthetics through simplicity and the use of sustainable materials, are my sources of inspiration and motivation. This is reflected in my work and the use of natural shades, highlighted by creating different textures through different weave structures and yarn thicknesses”.
The ideas and practices of zero waste and sustainable design methods run strongly through her approach in creating aesthetically engaging and functional textiles. Through a juxtaposition of modern day and traditional craft techniques, Maria’s work is aimed at vivid, but minimal, textiles that creatively illustrate long-established techniques and styles yielding a vigorously contemporary and environmentally sustainable interlocutor.
“The craft of weaving is all around us with everyday essential products to high-end designs, so its importance must be highlighted as it is constantly present, yet often unnoticed. Fabrics not only occupy every corner of a household regardless of geographical location, but also are a part of our body being a boundary and a connection at the same time between us and nature”.
“My sources of inspiration spring from these very connections of us as humans and the way we use textiles and make them a part of our very culture. My ideal view is a constant process of creating a product of high aesthetics through simplicity and the use of natural and sustainable ma- terials to end up with timeless objects”
“If I could call something as the philosophy of my work are such values that strive to reach a natural balance of an ethical sustainability of materials versus the pure aesthetics of a creation”.
“We have to overcome the illusion that we live in a world with infinite resources”.
“Now more than ever it does depend on us and our actions on sustaining the quality of life and life itself on this beautiful blue planet”.
“My concept of textile design and making reflects my dedication to Zero Waste design. I strive to decrease to the minimum yarn waste and unnecessary cuts, carbon footprints, the use of machinery, water and electric energy. By adhering to a Zero Waste philosophy, I aspire to make hand-weaving an even more sustainable craft.”
You can read the full feature and interview of Maria Sigma at The Greek Foundation Volume 01