Made in Hackney: Layla Chelache’s fingerless gloves take hours to knit - but she loves every minute

Layla Chelache's Hackney handwarmers. Picture: Chelache

Layla Chelache's Hackney handwarmers. Picture: Chelache - Credit: Chelache

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we visit Layla Chelache’s HQ in Navarino Road where she was busy knitting away.

Layla Chelache at work. Picture: Georgia Kuhn

Layla Chelache at work. Picture: Georgia Kuhn - Credit: Paul Wyatt for "A New Normal" by Machines Room / Design Products RCA

At £75, Layla Chelache’s “Hackney handwarmer” fingerless gloves might seem a bit on the pricey side – though less so when you consider they take at least six hours to make.

Layla makes them by hand using six tiny knitting needles at her home in Navarino Road, after spiralling costs forced her out of a studio in Netil House, London Fields.

With a part-time assistant, the pair have been frantically knitting scarves, hats, headbands and the handwarmers to get enough stock together to fulfil her wholesale orders and sell at craft fairs – like Made London in Marylebone from Thursday till Sunday next week.

“In the last week or so I’ve never knitted so much in my life,” she told the Gazette.

Despite acquiring a backache that may be down to the craft, she’s not sick of it.

“Making is the bit I really love,” she said. “I love the colour and texture of the yarn and what I can do with it.”

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Chelache strives for zero waste and any leftover yarn is used to make cushions.