PRODUCT / BUSINESS / BRANDING
Alltaf is a passion project looking at how to translate an ancient material into a contemporary product.
Alltaf is a small, hand-made felted jewelry line in Toronto, Canada. Utilizing my background in industrial design, I aspired to translate my knowledge of materiality and production to create simple, expressive wool pieces that anyone can wear on a daily basis.
This is a personal project that has naturally developed over the last two years. The project is ongoing.
1 Problem Space
Alltaf didn't emerge from a problem space I identified. It grew organically while experimenting during a university course with a material from my childhood. The issue I hoped to tackle with the development of this project was to address the perception of wool, and how to transform it into one that was not only regarded as a quality material but one that was delicate, colorful, and fashionable.
Did you know?
Icelandic sheep are a unique breed, similar to their ancestors when they arrived in the 9th century. The wool is unlike any other kind, where it is comprised of two layers one that repels water and another that acts as insulation.
Develop a method of attaining uniformity between samples
Only use 100% wool
Create a high-quality product and establish interested customer base
Create online store to allow customers to customize their orders
I began experimenting with the material over two years ago through a project looking at different ways to manipulate the wool.
After extensive trials and prototypes, a process emerged for creating uniform earrings. From there, a brand emerged.
Alltaf is a slow project as I develop the many pieces that contribute to this brand. Still a work-in-progress, the jewelry line is almost ready to be released.
2 Project Framing
Inspired by the depth of tradition of Icelandic wool, ALLTAF aims to establish wool in the realm of every day, fine jewelry while supporting sustainable production methods through artesian craftsmanship. The brand strives to celebrate an individual’s ability to express one’s self through shape and color to elevate their daily routine by bringing play into their day.
Each earring is handmade using 100% Icelandic wool roving and sterling silver components. Felting allows for the material to act as the binding agent, the finish and the production technique. I wanted to challenge myself by relying on the material to give this product worth.
There are only two methods of felting, and I use them both. Every earring goes through a multi-step process of wet felting and needle felting to ensure it maintains its shape throughout long durations of wear. Both processes ensure the wool is webbed intricately into a dense mat allowing it to be the exact shape of its mold (with some natural imperfections). The end product is in 100% wool with no additives.
Every set of earrings is made to order to reduce waste while allowing for an extensive range of options when ordering. They are compactly packaged and mailed off to its new home.
They're durable and water-resistant so there is no need to be precious with them. If the earrings sustain any damage, they can be returned for a free-of-charge maintenance as the earrings can be endlessly repaired.
You can choose from over 15 shapes, in a range of sizes and colors to express your style exactly how you want.
Models; Dexter Donoe, Renelyn Quinicot, Wiheba Kalisa, Niki Nikita, Kristin Alia Jean. Photographer; Raylene Turner
After a little over a year of experimentation and prototypes, Alltaf emerged as the cumulation of these trials, resulting in a small jewelry brand. An adventure in creative direction, brand creation, and operations, Alltaf is special to me as it allowed me to explore a material that I grew up with but had since forgotten.