Hi there! I’m Elisa—Textile Designer and entrepreneur. Welcome!
I’ve always liked drawing and handicrafts, but I only started to consider a career in design after completing a BA in Art History. My long-time hobbies sewing and knitting lead me to study textiles at Metropolia UAS in Helsinki, Finland, and I initially thought that I’d focus on pattern design and knit design. I guess fate decided otherwise: upon starting my studies, I immediately developed a passion for weaving!
My interest in weaving eventually took me to Japan, where I studied traditional dyeing and weaving techniques for a full academic year. Living in the outskirts of Tokyo was quite an experience! I learned new skills in weaving, consolidated old ones and came back home with a renewed sense of confidence in sustainable and handmade textiles.
In my free time I’m a music lover who likes good food, sewing and knitting. When I want to relax, I head to the sauna, outdoors, or to an art exhibition or a concert.
Weaving fascinates me because it’s a technique that requires a lot of rigorous planning: before one can even start to weave, there’s some serious measuring, calculating and planning to do. Dressing the loom is also a feat that requires both skill and time. Mistakes in this process are quite common and if they’re not corrected, they remain visible in the finished fabric.
When the loom is dressed and everything is finally ready for weaving, it’s time to explore more freely and try out different combinations of weft yarns and patterns. The variations yield really diverse fabrics! It’s always rewarding to build a fabric from scratch, and I’m often pleasantly surprised with the results myself. Watch the video below to see what the process of weaving fabric on a floor loom looks like!
I’m inspired by colours and textures, seasons and nature, architecture and street art, painting and photography, as well as historical objects and traditional handicrafts. When I’m designing a fabric or a product, I start by thinking about what kind of feel I’d like for it to have. To complete the process, I think about what kind of design and which technique would allow me to bring that image to life.
Even though my projects are very varied, I think of my design process as a continous path: all completed works and samples spark new ideas for further development and future projects.
Back in the day in Finland, a loom was a household staple in many places and people wove rugs, blankets and towels themselves. In the last decades, however, weaving has lost its popularity and many don’t actually really even know what can be woven on a traditional loom besides the well-loved, traditional rag rugs (“räsymatto”).
ELISA PENTTILÄ was born out of a desire to create and bring forward locally produced, carefully crafted and simply beautiful woven fabrics, which are further made into unique products. The mission of my business is:
To offer customers a locally produced alternative to mass produced textiles.
To produce, in small quantities, unique textiles that cannot be found elsewhere.
To create individual products based on custom orders.
To highlight the versatility of weaving through the products and fabrics.
My business’ values are its backbone and its compass for future direction. These values serve my practise as concrete business principles and choices that I go by when running my daily business, and as a strategic basis for my business’ future development.
Courage comes in many forms and in my business courage conveys at least the following: the courage to explore, the courage to make things slowly, the courage to look forward and the courage to be oneself.
My business is a straightforward partner, with which it is easy to collaborate as another business or as an individual customer. When doing business with me, deadlines are respected and communication runs smoothly. My aim is to have every customer feel that they’re really getting a personalised service.
I want to create a sustainable business that is founded on the respect of natural resources and other people. Sustainability guides the operating principles of my business and its development so that my business operations would not use more natural resources than what is necessary.
My business’ foundation lies in handcraft expertise and in keeping handcraft traditions relevant and alive in today’s world. With my handmade process, I aim to achieve a high level of quality in all the aspects of creating new textiles: in design, in the choice of materials and in the production process, as well as in product development.
Concrete actions towards a sustainable business: take a look at my business principles.
Beauty starts from natural materials. Read more about the materials I use!