Warm wools in tonal blues and greens reminiscent of the undulating waves of the Mediterranean Sea. A spatter of delicately placed hand-stitched embroidery — embellishments meant to remind the wearer from whence their coat was first conceived. Purposeful in construction, color and shape, Elina Tseliagkou, the creative mind behind Unsung Weavers, makes beautiful, oversized structural coats from salvaged, antique Greek wool blankets.
The name of the young brand was chosen with intent, paying tribute to the original weavers of the now discarded blankets. Each piece tells a story about the hands that spun and cared for the wool meant to bring warmth and comfort to the user. Unsung Weavers now resurrects those untold stories by transforming the original fibres into wearable art.
Traditional village production in the Peloponnese region of Greece where Elina rescues the blankets, was dependent on lifecycles and seasonal influences, requiring both rainwater and dry periods. Through the heritage and know-how passed down through generations, the wool’s innate properties became animated by the two elements Greece is most famous for — water and light – before being reanimated by the maker’s hands.
“Each unique piece is a relic in itself, echoing the long forgotten rituals of rural production while reviving the ancient craft of weaving. Every garment is entirely hand-stitched from a unique pattern based on utilitarian apparel archetypes, such as the shepherd’s overcoat and monastic jacket,” says Elina of her work.
The history of the material is beautifully represented in Elina’s modern aesthetic. Hems are raw cut, shapes are perfectly oversized and decorative hand-embroidery adds a modern, minimalistic quality with a just-so gentle nod to Greek traditional patterns.
Unsung Weavers celebrates the original hand-dyed, thick, tufted materials by preserving the longer weaves in some of their designs, which stand out against the bright green and blue hues that embody the colours of the Greek countryside.
“It’s very impressive on its own, this fabric. So, it’s all about the inherent qualities of the material. About what the material allows you to do. About what kind of shape it allows you to form.”