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UKFT Rise – Founder feature with HEM: Handwoven


Meet Nell Swift,  founder of HEM: Handwoven. Launched in 2021, HEM: Handwoven has collections of woven textiles using natural fibres.

Read Nell’s feature with UKFT Rise below:

My background is in… heritage buildings and community arts.

I decided to start my business because I absolutely love weaving and I want to be able to weave for a living. I was amazed that people wanted to buy my work.

HEM: Handwoven

Something that really helped in getting my business of the ground is… #artistsupportpledge an absolute game-changer for me. It introduced me to so many fantastic artists that I would never have come across. And crucially it managed to persuade me that weaving is art and that I am too.

An area of business I’d like to gain more knowledge of is… small scale textile manufacturing.

HEM: Handwoven

Three important qualities for an entrepreneur are… know your ideas, your style, be inspired by what you do, try every opportunity- you don’t know what will happen until you try. We’re all really just making it up as we go along.

A UKFT Rise subscriber I find inspiring would be… Iinouiio perfectly embodying the circular economy and producing gorgeous yarns.

Something happening in the industry that’s inspiring me right now is… the fashion revolution movement and how makers are really embracing no-waste practices. The Super Slow Way grew and processed a crop of linen and made a pair of jeans. I love weaving with linen and we really need to produce more of the most sustainable and beautiful fibre.

HEM: Handwoven

A change I’d like to see in the industry would be… textile waste being donated to weavers and machine knitters and textile students so that nothing goes to landfill.