Spinning a yarn with Hackney weaving studio, The London Loom
PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 July 2017
Brooke Dennis tells ZOE PASKETT about setting up The London Loom in Hackney Downs
Crafty Londoners are finding so many ways to get their fix and the latest is weaving.
Brooke Dennis and Francesca Kletz started their east London weaving studio having each long harboured a passion for yarn.
“Francesca visited Japan and discovered this style of weaving and fell in love,” says Brooke. “She came to me, and I said ‘I’m in!’ Six months later, we launched our first Pop up in Hackney Road. We now have a permanent location in Hackney Downs Studios which is just the bee’s knees.”
While Francesca trained to teach at a Japanese weaving studio in New York, Brooke owned a small sewing studio in New Zealand, which she closed to move to London.
“I studied fashion in New Zealand and Francesca has an academic background and we mutually get giddy over creating things with our hands,” says Brooke. “We both started off teaching basic crafts to hen’s parties for other organisations. However we quickly became disenfranchised with the nature that these classes were taught. We have pretty ace personalities and we didn’t feel that craft needed to be taught in a manner that infantilises females.”
The pair teaches workshops at their Hackney Downs studio with everything from tapestry, arm knitting, jewellery making and even genitalia embroidery – yes, you read that right. Their late nights classes are exclusively 18+ and you can bring your own booze and learn some explicit craft!
They also offer private parties (kids and adults), take trips to mills to learn more about the textiles industry and host guest speakers such as Elizabeth Pawle, whose vibrant embroidery and weaving charms her 72k Instagram followers each day.
While Brooke says that her professional work in fashion was too much about following measurements and patterns, but weaving cloth freely on the loom is a more tactile and gentle experience. She loves “teaching about sustainability, working in collaboration and generally slowing down and taking time to connect to our hands and our hearts”.
Classes run throughout the year. Go to thelondonloom.com to book and for details on special events. The London Loom is based in Studio 8, Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT