Q&A with MillaMia
MillaMia believe that you can combine a love of knitting with a love of modern, contemporary design. We spoke to their design team to discuss their love of all things wool and how they are participating in this year’s Wool Week.
Please tell us a little about yourselves and how your business/designs/products utilise wool?
MillaMia are a modern knitting company, launched in late 2009 by two Swedish sisters based in London. This Scandinavian inspired knitting design company began by creating modern, contemporary knitting patterns for babies and children using their supersoft Naturally Soft Merino Yarn. Now in their fourth year, MillaMia have added a range of adults garments, accessories and interior patterns and with the imminent launch of a second yarn range plan to extend their catalogue to include sumptuous, luxury knits for the winter season.
Though MillaMia is becoming increasingly more familiar amongst knitters, stockists and the wider knitting community, the company has managed to retain a fresh vibrancy that ensures they maintain the desirable, exclusive allure of smaller, niche brands.
What makes you choose wool over other fibres? What is your favourite thing about wool?
As a yarn and knitting company, pure merino wool is the focus of everything we do! For MillaMia, wool is the most versatile medium for designing stylish, practical garments – there is endless opportunity for combining construction and patterns with wool that create drape, or structure. We are inspired every day to find a new technique or stitch pattern with our yarn that will produce something unique and exciting – it just isn’t the same experience with manmade fibre.
By what means do you source your wool?
We use a highly regarded mill in Italy which produces our yarn to our very specific requirements. We insist on merino of a particular grade and the mill is fantastic at producing an extremely high quality yarn time after time.
What does the Campaign for Wool mean to you?
A: We are thrilled that such a Campaign exists and is gathering momentum and increased support year on year. It is incredibly important to small businesses such as MillaMia to see this kind of healthy encouragement as it helps to raise our profile and awareness among the wider (non-knitting!) community.
The interiors landscape is forever changing, what does 2014/15 hold for you as a brand?
MillaMia has always had a strong focus on contemporary, Scandinavian design in our garments and colour palette, and our love of simple, stylish interiors is also inherited from our Swedish background. We have been working on a range of interior pieces, perhaps for inclusion in a dedicated interiors pattern collection for 2015. It’s just such a simple but effective way to introduce some great handmade style into your home isn’t it?
Fabric technologies, particularly those using wool have advanced so rapidly over the last few years, has this affected your trade and work?
What we love about being in the hand knitting part of the wool trade is the fact that if you have a great product based on a fantastic raw material you don’t need to over-engineer things just for the sake of it. So yes of course we benefit from technologies moving on which enable us for instance to produce a yarn made from pure wool that can still be machine washed, and produced in really vibrant colours, but I would not say that it impacts us year to year.
How does using woollen cloths differ to other man-made materials?
This would definitely be best answered by a knitter I think! We have consistently positive feedback from our knitter customers who tell us that there is nothing like knitting with pure wool. They spend a huge amount of time making stitch after stitch, producing a knitted garment which is a very considered commitment and making those thousands of stitches is sometimes hard on the hands. The action of knitting with a pure wool is smooth and enjoyable, and, as already mentioned produces something desirable at the end.
What demand have you seen from your customers with regards to favouring wool over synthetic fibres?
Our customers are incredibly loyal and once they have tried knitting with our Naturally Soft Merino they find it difficult to go back to using blended yarns or synthetics. As a company that only produce a pure wool product we have to agree that it really is worth spending a little more on a luxury 100% wool yarn to ensure that the knitting process is as much of a pleasure as the finished article.
Are there any plans to introduce more wool in to your collection?
We have just launched a second yarn range and 2 supporting pattern collections. This aran weight yarn – Naturally Soft Aran – is again a pure merino in 16 stunning shades, with our trademark tight twist for great stitch definition and soft hand that makes it such a joy to knit with. The pattern support harks back to our roots with a collection of cosy knits for babies and kids called Tiny Treasures, and the second, Finishing Touch is dedicated to our love of gorgeous accessories which will add an element of stylish warmth to any winter outfit.
To find out more about MillaMia and their work with wool visit http://www.millamia.com/
Milla Mia are taking part in the Wool Collection: Interiors at Southwark Cathedral during Wool Week. Read more about the exhibition at http://www.campaignforwool.org/news-item/the-campaign-for-wool-interiors-collection/