Made in Hackney: Barley Massey’s sentimental cushions are made from lost loved ones’ clothes

Delphiniums made out of jeans by Barley Massey

Delphiniums made out of jeans by Barley Massey - Credit: Barley Massey

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we speak to Barley Massey who creates homewares and accessories out of discarded materials at her shop Fabrications in London Fields.

Barley Massey with a 'forget-me-not' cushion

Barley Massey with a 'forget-me-not' cushion - Credit: Barley Massey

Barley Massey “upcycles” textiles in her London Fields shop, where she makes homewares, accessories and “forget-me-not” cushions out of lost loved ones’ clothes.

When the Gazette spoke to the textiles graduate at Fabrications in Broadway Market, she was making delphiniums out of jeans, which are going to be displayed at an exhibition promoting recycling.

Barley opened the store in 2000, when many of the shops along the strip were derelict, and the council was encouraging in artists.

“I thought the shop would give me a good studio space and a window onto the world,” she said.

Her service “Remember Me” sees people bringing in sentimental textiles for her to transform into cushions or comforting items.

“The items could be from a lost loved one,” she said.

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“It’s therapeutic for the person who uses the service and helps them through a difficult time. If people bring shirts I’ll suggest using the sleeves on the back and keep an opening so the person can put their arms through. It’s a bit like hugging, if you like.”