'Creativity has always been a driving force for me.'
Katherine Maunder, Fashion Designer and Founder of Thread Tales Co.
After graduating with a degree in fashion, a placement with Marithé et Francois Girboud (famous for the stone wash concept) swept me into the fast-paced world of the fashion industry. Returning to the UK I used this incredible experience to design for major high street brands including Ted Baker and the Arcadia group.
Over 15 years I developed a passion for fabric, from high-tech textiles to handcrafted creations, putting a contemporary spin on traditional designs. For Ted Baker, I worked on updates of traditional Jacquard designs and for Matthew Williamson’s range for Debenhams, on beautiful prints and embellished fabrics.
During that time, I learned that producing multiple collections a year in an impossibly tight time frame, with increasing emphasis on cutting costs, is not a fulfilling way to work. I realised that designing thoughtful products with a social and environmental consciousness was where my passion lay, and that focusing on sustainability in fashion compels me to be more innovative.
While teaching traditional birth assistants in Burma, My mother, an inspirational British midwife, found this incredible material, hand picked and hand woven from the stems of the Lotus flower. She brought a sample back home to the UK to show me and I was intrigued by its rare softness and its potential to create beautiful designs.
Discovering the Lotus fabric and travelling to meet the community of artisans that weave it by the Inle Lakes in Myanmar, led me to create Thread Tales Co.
The pieces I design are textured and tactile. I am inspired by the diversity and imperfections of the natural environment. Travel is also a huge source of inspiration and I journey to visit the talented artisans who create fabric for Thread Tales Company. I learn from their traditional expertise and encourage them to interpret their age-old techniques and fabrics in a modern way.