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Behind the scenes

 

 

The images for our newest LIJN collection campaign were shot by Hannah Lipowsky. Our collaboration started when she told us how much she enjoyed our products and the visuals we create. When we checked out her website, it showed a sophisticated portfolio. The amazing projects she has done made our hearts beat faster, so we were wildly enthusiastic to get to know her.

 

In a coffee place on Brouwersgracht, we met. Hannah is a German photographer who, after having started out her career in Barcelona, has been based in Amsterdam for several years. Besides being a photographer she is also mother to a little son, and a bright, positive entrepreneur. The true passion she has for her job shone through our collaboration.

 

Together we developed a concept for the visuals of the new Winter in Holland LIJN campaign, found a team of models and a make-up artist. We even drove around The Netherlands looking for styling items from other Dutch brands and a great location to shoot. And we did it! Look below for a glance behind the scenes of our shoot.

 

    

 

 

 

 

We styled our scarfs with outfits of several Dutch brands. One of those brands is StudioRUIG. Klaartje, Inge and Sophie bundle their powers to design the garments of Studio RUIG, but also impressively build the whole brand. The team describes their style by: ‘unpretentious yet carefully designed collections with an androgynous sensuality’. Exactly what we needed in our shoot. They have a beautiful shop in the former industrial area of Eindhoven, Strijp S. The light space with high ceilings breaths calmness while on the other side of the cash register you can peek into their atelier. Racks with garments dress the walls while big tables are covered with patterns, scissors, fabrics and office supplies. We browsed through coats, blouses, trousers and dresses and went back to the atelier, borrowing the prettiest garments!

 

Our ‘Flamingo’s Beak’ scarf large with a Studio RUIG coat ‘Visa’

 

We are also fan of Ivy&Liv, a jewellery brand based in Amsterdam. We met Fleur, founder of the brand, in her stunning atelier in an idyllic building in de Baarsjes.  An Ivy&Liv item is made for life: you will get yourself a piece because you fall in love with it. You will wear it for your whole life and the quality enables you to do so. A vision Winter in Holland shares with them. One corner of their work space is turned into a show-room: the shiny gold and silver jewellery are elegantly exhibited. Fleur helped us picking items, by showing her favorite combinations:

 

Simone wears our Peacock’s eye scarf L, the Gaea Part II earring by Ivy&liv and the Johnny Uni Jersey by Studio RUIG 

 

Full Credits:

Photography: Hannah Lipowsky
Models: Simone van Rookhuizen en Daniel van Hek
Make-up: Minke Boeijen
Styling: Winter in Holland
Styling items: Yunit and Rhumaa by the help of Willa Green PR, Studio RUIG, Elsien Gringhuis and Ivy & Liv

Meet our knitters

The Dutch capital booms with international talent. From business men in our South district, to artists spread all over town. From thinkers, to writers, to economists, to makers, to wanderers: the diversity in Amsterdam is stronger than ever.  In this article we meet the talents that shape our label ‘Socially Made in Amsterdam’.

We made an appointment with the ladies in the atelier in Amsterdam West. When we arrived, Harjinder, Munni and Samra were gathered around an industrial sowing machine with their fellow colleagues. Concentrating on the words and actions of a young lady, who was showing them how to sow a purse. As soon as they noticed we arrived, they enthusiastically greeted us with the warm welcome as we always get: tea, a catching-up chat and lots of laughter and joy. We sat ourselves around a table and I started the conversation.

 

Munni ( from Bangladesh), Samra (Morocco) and Harjinder (India) moved on early ages to Amsterdam, together with their husbands who had better job-opportunities in The Netherlands. At this time, about 20 years ago, the ladies had not crossed each-other’s paths yet. However these paths are quite similar: they very soon became mothers, urged to understand and speak the Dutch language and searched for ways to participate in the Dutch society.

The origin of these ladies are spread all over the world, but they share the same problem. Unlike the western culture, their original culture does not ask of a women to be educated and to work.

 

‘ In India they said that I do not have to think, but my brother has to.’ Harjinder

 

Meaning that her brother is fully educated with the prospect of earning money and taking care of their parents in the future. But Harjinder was not supposed to take care of the family and therefore was not in need of a higher education.

 

           

Harjinder

 

Besides the fulltime task of motherhood, they tried to get jobs. All three ladies attended sowing classes before they came to The Netherlands, but soon found out that the techniques they have learned, were not applicable here. Their paths finally crossed a few years ago during a hand-craft course: The three of them knew they needed an education with knowledge on the western ‘fashion’, but also needed work experience. Het GildeLab offered them the work experience. The social venture in Amsterdam connects young designers in need of production, with ladies such as Munni, Harjinder and Samra. Here, they get experience in a work-environment and they do what they like: hand crafts, with likeminded people.

 

As we all do, we are constantly working towards our ideal future on a daily basis. We asked these ladies what their future would look like. What would they be doing in 5 years? With a light giggle, Samra explained she wants her own business. She has been working on her knowledge in the field of hand work for years now and she wants to use these skills to design her own garments, but also produce for others. Together with Harjinder, they are talking about keeping it small and work from home in the first years. They after all have the duties of motherhood for at least the coming 8 years. Munni on the other hand has an other dream: she would love to do production for small companies, or even be promoted to an assistant job within an atelier.

 

 

Although their ambitions differ, these three ladies share their situation and share the same wish:

independence

 

At Winter in Holland we believe that independence is a basic need for any person in this world. With our ‘Socially Made in Amsterdam’ label, we want to make space within our company for these ladies to become independent and start a career as crafts-women.

 

 

 

*Hands in the picture above are from Munni.

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LIJN collection











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Thick rich woolen yarns shape the soft touch of the textile, communicating an effortless sophistication and subtle luxury. It shows a perfect balance between utility and delight. Elegant and deliberately picked colors are only for the ones appreciating a refined taste; These products are for the individuals with style equal to their own authenticity.




 High standard is hiding in plain sight








The line on each product, which quick-wittedly also is the name of the collection, is precisely the reason why this collection is hand-made: The knitter decides where to place the line, leaving her personal mark on every product. Made with great care, these knits are hand manufactured by our ladies.

 






Credits:

This year the campaign shoot of our scarfs is shot by the lovely Hannah Lipowsky. Daniel and Simone where flaunting our products while Minke did their make-up. With cooperation of Yunit, Rhumaa (both via Wgreen pr), Studio RUIG, Elsien Gringhuis and Ivy&Liv, we were able to complete the styling. 



Stay tuned; there is a post coming up about the process of our campaign shoot. Subscribe yourself for our newsletter and get a notice of our newest stories.



Flags : Sanne Vaassen x Winter in Holland



The lower lands depict the western shore sides of our tiny country. Filled with systems of polders and dykes, the Dutch maintain their nations’ shape for decades. Stilted by the land’s unfortunate water level, our people became innovators in the field of waterworks. Water is what nature gave us and what will determinedly form our country in many different ways.


Sanne Vaassen, a Dutch artist from Maastricht (Limburg) got in touch with us for her flag project. In her project she questions what a country now a days is. Sanne gave us ( and other Dutch weavers) yarns: she had taken the actual dutch flag and deconstructed it back to separate yarns. The weaver is supposed to use these yarns and re-make a flag with their imprint and the use of their craftsmanship. In this way, the artist turns a symbol of a nation into a platform for an individual.

The Winter in Holland team questioned what The Netherlands is. We started out discussing about our modern nation: our caring and complicated political system or who the modern Dutch person is. We thought about our history in trading and the famous windmills, clogs or tulips. But none of these suited a timeless idea of our country; Our political system is a variable fact, which might change from year to year. We are not the only best traders, tulips are not even merely grown in the Netherlands, the only purpose our windmills serve are as sightseeing objects for tourists and no one wears clogs anymore. But one thing that our tiny flat country has been known for and will always be known for is natures gift of water. And to be precise: our problem with water and how we deal with it.

We decided to climb behind the weaving machine and weave a structure of meandering water out of the original blue, white and red yarns from the Dutch flag:

 

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Find Sannes’ first solo exhibition from Saturday 2 September to 14th of October

At Alpert+Leary on Staalstraat 19 in Amsterdam
Check all the works of Sanne on her website.

Socially Made in Amsterdam



When you see them work, it looks like it almost comes natural. Hands with years of experience handle the most delicate and sleek fabrics. Every touch to a garment is approached with profound care. Complexity is tackled with thorough deliberation. These ladies are sincere handworkers, and it feels like they have not yet discovered it themselves.

At Winter in Holland, we’re connoisseurs of cloth. We’ve been knitting and weaving for a while now, and have met a hand full of special people that are as devoted to their  trade as we are.
Surrounding yourself with people that feel the same natural lust for something as you do, gives a great energy and opens doors to possibilities:This story is about the passionate ladies who apply their skills  to knitting machines.



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We discovered this  newly founded squadron in 2015 while biking past their workplace in our neighbourhood in Amsterdam. These ladies are part of a project named Gilde Lab: a social venture focussing on developing forgotten talent from the neighbourhood in Amsterdam West, and transforming these, in this case, women into professional craft-ladies in the field of sowing.

They helped us out by sowing a big cushion order. This is when the ladies really caught our eye. They showed so much devotion and joy to their work, plus they were amazing at their craft. We at Winter in Holland could not let this heartening experience go, and decided to propose them a new adventure: we asked them if they would like to learn how to knit on our machines. In this way they can help us out with production in the future, and we can offer them an education in a new craft.

Halfway 2016, we brought our machines and yarns to the Lab and kicked off an intense series of classes. Besides the raucous noise of the somewhat 200 needles hitting the metal knitting sled continuously, the concentration amongst the women was highly focussed.
They tapped into their years of knowledge in crafts and turned this unknown object into a familiar tool almost like it was easy. This tiny community is brimming with positivity.

 

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The community we’re talking about is not only a group of women who grew up in a culture where handwork is taught from mother to daughter, but also a culture where a mother takes care of the kids and the father is the cost winner. The ladies are foreseeing a vacant future after the 24/7 motherhood has ended: The job of ‘being a mother’ unfortunately is not valuable on a CV. These women mostly do not have a relevant education to function in the knowledge economy that we have in present Dutch society. They all of a sudden go from full time parenting, to full time thumb twiddlers.

Amsterdam New West houses the largest percentage of households consisting of families with kids. 45% of the inhabitants of the same area is foreign, originating from cultures where mothers stay at home to raise their kids. This conveys that the density of foreign housemothers is very high in this part of the city.
When unemployment is measured, only educated people who previously had a job are included in the calculation. This means that the unemployment numbers do not say anything about the true unemployment of the housemother after their kids left the house.

The project Socially Made in Amsterdam aims to create employment within the neighborhood of New-West. Together with Het Gilde Lab, Winter in Holland works to educate ladies in the craft of knitting and sets out to provide them with work on a local scale.
We will work towards a future where we educate in various fields within the hand crafted textile industry to transform women from this neighborhood into professional craftswomen.



Next up: meeting our knitters.

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Visit us in Paris this January ’17

Super fresh from the design atelier, we introduce Winder in Holland’s newest textiles on Maison&Objet. The collection, named ‘Lijn’, exists out of 3 color-ways that will be shaped in cushions, blankets and scarfs.

For this A/W 2017/18 collection, we present hand-knitted textiles with a subtle structure and delicately picked finishings. The rich feeling of the soft wool asks to be touched, held and worn. The new collection shows a testament of clean and indulging design and reflects an excellent understanding of the craft behind knitting.

The textiles, unlike other collections of the brand, have an uninterrupted even texture and color. Except for one contrasting line (‘Lijn’ in Dutch) that highlights merely a shimmer of the underlaying texture of the cloth.  The serene atmosphere that surrounds the collection, easily compliments many interiors and will accompany the room with a welcoming and wholehearted feeling.

A marriage of the inherited knowledge of craftsmanship and the quality behind a product is what drives the company. From design until production: Winter in Holland has worked on creating a solid and modest production for its valuable hand-made pieces. In the outskirts of the city Amsterdam, is an atelier situated where women from the neighborhood use their inherited skills to start a career in the fashion industry.

In the past year, 3 ladies have learned the skills of knitting by, Winter in Holland’s founder, Anouk’s guidance. The ladies have developed themselves as blossoming craftswomen and help Anouk out in the production of the hand-knitted pieces.

Maison & Objet

20 – 24 January

Hall 1 Eclectic 

Stand: G61 (We are not present in the paper catalogue of the fair, but we are to be found on all virtual applications)

From Friday to Monday: 09:30am to 07:00pm.

Tuesday: 09:30am to 06:00pm.

Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre

The WIH – STORE and Showroom

We are pleased to announce we’re showing our products in the Netherlands next week!

Winter in Holland is attending shows in Paris and Tokyo and sells in stores throughout the world, but has not made an independent presence in our own country yet. That is about to change: We will transform a small shop in the Center of Amsterdam, into a Winter in Holland store and showroom for one week. Here you can experience our fabrics and the rich stories behind the products and their special production processes.

Throughout the week, shops and stylists can make an appointment by e-mail to plan a visit. This way we can take the time for you and give you an excellent explanation about our textiles and the vision we have with our brand. 

Not a shop owner or a stylist but curious for our shop?  Pleasure seekers are more than welcome to drop by, during the opening times:

 

Monday: 13.00 – 18.00

Tuesday: 10.00 – 19.00

Wednesday: 10.00-18.00

Thursday: 10.00 – 21.00

Friday: 10.00 – 19.00

Saturday: 10.00 – 18.00

Sunday: 11.00-17.00

 

From 21st to the 27th of November at Huidenstraat 13 in Amsterdam

Appointment e-mail: contact@anoukvanderlaan.com

Bonjour tout le monde

find us on Maison & Objet

Yes yes; we’re ready to crawl out of the atelier and hit the road again. We are confident that our next trip will be a succes, since our previous adventure in Tokyo went very well. This time we go to Paris to exhibit our textiles and products at Maison & Objet. It will be our second visit and we have quite some new things to show you.

– Past year Winter in Holland worked on upscaling the production for the hand-made pieces. You can read all about that here. One of the results: two new colours for the Winter knits! We added ‘fog’ and ‘hail’, a dark and a light grey.

– We started to weave. The collection named ‘The Wovens’ is produced on antique looms in Great Britain and is too, a complete woolen product of a great quality and indulging comfort.

– A cotton blanket is coming! See the first samples for spring/summer 2017 at Maison & Objet.

Did we make you feel excited?

Date: 2 – 6 September

Venue: Parc des Expositions, Paris

Stand number: Hall 6 Stand i76

This is how we do it

Winter in Holland not only knits by hand, but also partly dyes the yarns by hand. The bigger we grow, the more difficult production gets and the more important things such as efficiency, planning, and quality become. So let me tell you how we do it:

We start by dying the yarns. How it all started? Let me take you back to the second year of WiH: I had a massive order and needed to buy my yarns from my supplier. The dyer of my supplier had run out of business and there was no way that my supplier could find another dyer for my specific request. At the time I had no idea about how to dye yarns. I had a problem I needed to solve.

I found this fabric-dye wizard located in the North of the country. No kidding, this man is a master in dying yarns and is devoted to sharing his far-reaching knowledge. He and his wife are incredible wholehearted people who were willing to share their expertise to help me out with my problem. Me and my mother went for a trip to the Northern provinces and we were taught how to dye my specific design.

 Schermafbeelding 2016-08-04 om 15.17.04  Verf  winding

From then on, I travel from Amsterdam to my elderly home in the South of The Netherlands four times a year, to dye big batches of yarns with my mother. I stay 4 or 5 days and it feels like a peaceful holiday while all the hard work is being done. In Summer we dye outside and in Winter we dye inside the house. During Winter my mothers’ kitchen turns into a dye-laboratory and her living room turns into the drying chamber for the dozens hanks of wool, hanging from the ceiling on wooden bars.

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On the last day in Limburg we turn the hanks into balls of wool and I drive them up to Amsterdam where they will be knitted.

I started out knitting on my grandmothers’ knitting machine. After 3 years, I needed to upscale my production, so I bought knitting machines 2nd hand from other grandmothers and brought them to an atelier in my neighborhood in Amsterdam. I made a deal with the atelier: I would teach the ladies of this tiny production atelier how to knit on my machines, if in return they were willing to produce for Winter in Holland in the future. And so it happened.

For half a year I taught a group of ladies from my neighborhood how to use the machine and knit my designs. Knitting on the machine is not an easy task. It requires a lot of attention and patience before you can knit a product with ease. These ladies are motivated to become crafts(wo)men in the near-future.

Cone structure  Tools   Machines

In this article, we explain why we still produce hand-made products at Winter in Holland.

This is why we do it

I started out knitting my textile designs by hand. At first, hand knitting was a way to get my products into shops. It was hyper practical: I had something in my mind and executed it within the same hour. Costs were low and everything was easy. I sold a piece and I made a piece.

Within the first year, orders were small. Nothing I could not handle. |n my second year I went from 2 days a week knitting, to 6 days a week knitting. All that knitting gives you heaps of time to think; I started questioning why I would continue doing the hand-made pieces in my collections. The idea of making all these pieces is to get them as identical as possible anyways. Why not just make the change to fully produce it all in factories?

Believe me, I love knitting, but when you knit THAT much, you start questioning wether you have become a slave of your own ideas and desires and lost the bigger picture of your goals. What is it about hand-made that I believe is something to cherish?

Craftmanship is defined by a state of engagement. With the knowledge of a craft, you can create objects that have never been created before. That gives a youthful curiousity and triggers you to explore. It drives you to find solutions to problems, to specialize yourself in your material in order to make the un-makeable. Craftmanship gives you the opportunity to create what is in your head, with your own hands.

WHYwe do it

However, modern society does not think highly of manual skills and hand crafted products. Often I hear that people question why the same product is not made in a factory. Mainly this question is the result of seeing the price of the product. What people don’t see, is that often the price of production in a factory is not much cheaper than doing it by hand, its just faster. Prices become lower mostly when a factory performs mass-production.

Do they think hand-made products are not reliable in quality? Do they believe it is made under bad circumstances? I don’t know what is going on with the branding behind ‘HandMade’, but I do believe people don’t understand the actual facts behind it.

Modern society seems to forget, or never learned, that in the bigger industries many disciplines use ‘hands’ next to machines. Things such as sowing and cutting fabrics for H&M is done by people in Turkey, parts of airplanes and boats are shaped by metal-workers by hand in in the harbors of Tokyo and there is a huge indian hand-weaving industry. These are not in bad labour conditions. People make these products with their hands by using machines like a wood-worker uses an automatic screw-driver.

When performing a craft like a professional, you need to learn how to communicate with the materials. While knitting, your body is the main tool. The essence of the work is the way your full body keeps on moving the machine. The rhythm you decide to master in order to create new rows in your fabric. The tension your hands give to the wool slipping through your fingers. The decision of the knitter to reply to the inconsistent dye of the yarn. Sometimes pulling the yarn a bit tighter or giving it a little bit more space. All these decisions are per row, per cm, per product made by the knitter. You can see it on a product, even though it is executed perfectly well with the best quality.

It is exactly this why I keep on making products by hand. It adds extra layers of soul to the product. Let’s celebrate craftsmanship.

Curious how we do it? Find out by reading this article.

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