We met up with Denitsa in her Kreuzberg shop – the home of Perelic Woolen Goods – to talk about the importance of sustainability in her business.
What’s the story of your brand?
Perelic was born in 2012 when I was longing to spend more time in Bulgaria. That’s when a family friend put me in contact with a textile mill in Bulgaria that had been run by the same family for generations.
The town my Grandmother lived in – Kotel – has a long history of rug making and I became fascinated with the process. I was especially inspired by the artistic input of women, reinterpreting traditional models and patterns in their own ways, giving them independence and creative agency. I studied the materials and became very interested in the rug making process. Along the way, it became clear that weaving rugs in a way that respected both the tradition and the process would be a very time consuming endeavor so I began thinking of other ways to incorporate these traditions into more modern designs. This is when I started working with blankets.
What is your process?
All the blankets are designed in Berlin and woven in Bulgaria. The wool is spun, dyed and woven into blankets and finally washed in a natural spring at the family-owned mill. Sometimes people want to check out if we really are a sustainable brand and we have the pictures to prove it. The machines that the blankets are woven on are manually operated which means the weavers have to change the shuttles every 10 rows of weaving and then finish the blankets entirely by hand. It’s a time consuming process and takes a lot of effort but it’s very important to us.
As for the design, I prefer minimal and modern motifs and often in darker colors. I like combining the textile traditions of Bulgaria with contemporary tastes to create something that will last generations.
Where do your materials come from?
All of our materials come from Bulgaria. All the thread is spun and dyed in a small town around Silven, Bulgaria and then woven at a third-generation family mill. There are just six employees at the mill, so the production is very closely monitored and attention to detail is very important.
What is the future of Perelic?
We hope to be able to have a more streamlined business model in the future. We would like to be able to provide customers with the products they would like and sometimes, this is difficult to achieve while remaining sustainable. These processes take time and we don’t want to change that. We think that customers that believe in our products also have a passion for sustainability and an understanding of our work.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability means making informed decisions and investing in pieces that make sense for your lifestyle. For example, we allow customers that come into the shop to test items (particularly the vintage rugs) in their home to see if it looks and feels right in their space.