There we go, without any experience about the fabric-industry, traveling to Lithuania to visit the linen factory. "We" are Marc and I. Marc and I worked together in the pass and he is making the pictures for Narzuta. Actually he doesn't call himself a photographer, you can judge yourself but I definitely believe he is :)
I think it's important to show the whole proces - traceability - so I want to visit all the parts of the proces. Flax groes in the Netherlands, Belgium and France because of the best weather conditions. After growing and drying the flax travels to Poland, Italy and China (read more about China is this blog). The bobbins are made in those 3 countries. Since I care a lot about sustainability I can tell you for sure that Narzuta is 100% European produced. The factory in Lithuania won't use any Chinese bobbins for Narzuta.
The bobbins are send from Italy and Poland to Lithuania where the bobbins becomes yarn. And off course the yarn becomes fabric. Its such a laborious proces but I was so exited to see it from this close. I secretly hoped for an old industrial building with large machines that we have never seen up close. I also hoped for beautiful light in the industrial dirty windows, employees who experience this laborious process every day and can tell about it with passion and especially the insight into the versatility of linen. From the airport it was more than an hour's drive and on the way we were flooded with beautiful nature, from the forest we went to old stone houses and from an old train station to a gigantic factory that you only see in movies. Our destination became close by. I took the first step inside and I was really blown away. So many machines! It instantly show how laborious linen actually is and in it wasn't finished with just one operation, there were so many steps to become the actual blanket. Again I was amazed at the origin of this substance and why we know so little about it. All pictures for the film were also immediately clear.
The first day we got a tour of all departments and we sat down to discuss the rough options. When I think back to this, I am amazed again how this all turned out. Suddenly I sat there, without any experience in textiles. It was unbelievable how much posibilities there are with linen and what a beautiful fabric it is. Little by little I became more enthusiastic but I also stressed a bit, because there were so many choices to be made! We had only a few hours in the factory the first day, which allowed me to let my creative mind free in the spare time. When we drove back to the hotel we stopped to take pictures. The weather was very cooperative and we became more and more enthusiastic. Back at the hotel we were completely demolished, my head didn't stop thinking about the possibilities and the pictures were too beautiful. It was all overwhelming. We had a glass of wine and went to sleep.
Day 2; We were able to start at 9am and took non-stop photos until 4.30pm. It was nice that I had seen all possible options the previous day because I now clearly had what I wanted in terms of design. I discussed all this with the production team and so we came up with +/- 10 designs to start with. So exciting! The process of thinking up that I want to produce blankets after the actual design suddenly seemed so short. At the same time, I can't go fast enough because I want to show everyone what I came up with.
After we were finished at the factory we drove around in the neighborhood for beautiful places and again we took beautiful photos in nature. In the evening a well-deserved snack and drink and we flew home the next morning.
It's bizarre to know what we have achieved in 2 days in terms of photos and designs. Resume; 10 designs and about 4000 photos. Wish me luck for finding the best pictures! ;)