Layla Chelache, knitwear designer
I have my Irish grandmother to thank for kick-starting my obsession with and adventures in knitting. A prolific knitter of Aran jumpers and cardigans, she taught me the basics when I was just six years old and I am still in awe of her skills with the needles.
At university I studied fashion design, followed by a BA in Constructed Textiles. After several years of working in varied roles within the fashion industry, I decided to dedicate myself fully to my passion for all things knitting and I set up my company CHELACHE to make and sell my own designs.
More than anything I love colours and textures and for me there is no better way to express this than through textiles. Knitting, in particular, gives me the potential to really play with the construction of the fabric and exploit its sculptural qualities.
I live and work in Hackney, East London, near the lovely London Fields. My small knit laboratory contains two vintage, industrial, hand operated knitting machines on which I am forever experimenting. When away from the machines, I spend my time hand knitting on tiny wooden needles.
What I love about my work is that however much I have learnt over the years, I know I have barely scratched the surface. With knitting there is always more to discover…
AT WORK IN THE STUDIO:
The above images are stills from the short film "The London Knitters", which was shown in the exhibition The New Normal, during London Design Week in September 2017. The film features me and fellow knitter Valentina Karellas in our London studios. WATCH IT HERE!
Images © 2017 Paul Wyatt for "A New Normal" by Machines Room / Design Products RCA