about Catherine Henggeler
designer of accessories, crafts person, dyer, world traveler, learner, language lover
design combined with craftmenship since 1993
Colors are my passion
Quality and longevity of my creations have always been a very important value for me.
I have traveled extensively. With my interest in the material culture of faraway peoples I came across outstanding craftspeople. I noticed the potential of their products and skills.
In order to meet the market demands of my western clients I started to dye Pashmina shawls in 1993.
My unlimited range of colours on Pashmina shawls resonated internationally.
Color adds brilliance, depth and life to a fabric
The way how different fibers take on dye fascinates me. It gives me tremendous pleasure to play with colors. It is my intent to further enhance the beauty of a textile by the process of dyeing. Over the years I learned so many little tricks on how to controll the dyeing.
I can piece dye a Pashmina shawl with a silk warp and a cashmere weft in such a way that it looks thread dyed. What does that mean? I can make effects where the cashmere weft has a different color from the silk warp. The effect is often subtle and beautiful. The shawl becomes a one-of-a-kind piece.
Necessity brought about unforeseen advantages
As it often happens, it was necessity that brought me to start dyeing my precious textiles by myself. Back in 1993 when I bought my first Pashmina shawls in Nepal I realized the limited dyeing skills in Nepal. I then decided to have the shawls woven in offwhite in Kathmandu and piece dye them in Switzerland. This necessity brought about unforeseen advantages. I received the undyed shawls and could keep them in stock. My dyeing was and still is done upon market demand by myself. I do keep a nice range of colors in stock. Having full controll of the dyeing process allows me also to react literally overnight to market demand.
I can custom dye any color my clients order.
The fashion world is ruled by seasonally changing so called fashion colors. They often get poetic names that might have been invented for that season. The seasonal color scheme is normally based on a theme chosen by the fashion design world. It serves as a guideline to create an atmosphere and emotions. This is truly fascinating, but can also be difficult for customers.
Dyeing any color of the rainbow
We all have our favorite colors. At times we are lost and maybe a bit sad because we simply cannot find our favorite colors in the shops. Light blue, for example, could not be found in stores for years. Thanks to my skills I can react to special demand and satisfy this desire. I dye any color of the rainbow. This gives me pleasure and satisfaction.
We all know that the weave of a piece of clothing might be beautiful, intricate, soft, pleasing, but if the color is not right, we do not want to wear it. Colors touch our emotions. In winter we wear different colors than we wear in summer. We choose our clothing according to our mood, the weather, the season, the time of the day and the occasion. Colors also evoke reaction in others who encounter us. Colors interact with each other.
The world of colors is a rich world
Learning from mistakes
During production mistakes happen. If you know mistakes, you can analize them. This can be a great source of inspiration. Mistakes can lead to new and better products.
Learning from clients
Thanks to the interaction with my clients I often developed new products that the market was looking for. After all it is the person on the sales floor who is in touch and advises the end user.
upcycling, dead stock
These terms have become fashionable. Thanks to contacts often made at trade fairs I have been lucky to have access to stock of top fabric producers for high fashion. This goes back to the times long before “upcycling” and “dead stock” appeared.
I have always offered my collection “just in time”. I myself have made exclusive creations with fabrics from over-production. Just like a shell turns a stone into a pearl.
At least a part of the production of my accessories is in my own hands.
There are obviously many advantages to this.
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