You know when you find a product that you can’t help yourself from gushing about? Your favorite pair of jeans, or the most comfortable shoes you’ve ever worn? As Retail Manager at House of Morrison, I am constantly on the lookout for items I think will connect with our customers to elicit the same response. One area that gets a lot of attention at House of Morrison (HoM) is our pillow selection. I love pillows for that quick (and affordable) refresh. They can change the whole feeling of the room without heavy lifting or big bucks spent. That’s a win-win for me.
A part of our mission at HoM is to bring shoppers top quality products from independent artists and artisans who offer something unique, items you aren’t going to find at every other store in town.So, I set off on the hunt for a new pillow source. That’s why I was so excited when I stumbled across Natalie Kaelin’s pillows. Her pillows embody an eclectic, modern style with an absolutely uncompromised level of craftsmanship. At House of Morrison, we are all about the design in your home telling a story and Natalie’s pillows do just that, through their handmade process using the craft of hand weaving. To help share her story, we asked Natalie a few key questions about her process.
Q & A With Natalie Kaelin
How did you get started making pillows?
Natalie: I first learned to weave in college where I studied Art + Design at NC State University's College of Design. I then started my business right after college with a wider range of products and have slowly narrowed down to the most popular section being pillows. I spent studio semesters focusing on both fashion and home décor, and the home inevitably stole my heart.
Can you briefly describe the hand weaving process?
Natalie: Hand weaving is a tedious process involving a lot of math and even more patience ;) Yarn is organized on a warping board to determine the width and length of your weaving and is then transferred onto the loom, being threaded through harnesses and heddles which will determine the pattern of the weave. From there, yarn is woven in to fill the warp and fabric is born.
What about hand loomed pillows makes them particularly special?
Natalie: It is one thing to sew together fabric to create a pillow; It is another to first create the fabric from scratch, and that is where my passion lies. I love the development of each pillow, watching my ideas go from paper to the loom, to the sewing machine, with many iterations in between. I hope that when someone brings one of my pillows into their home, it holds a special space knowing that every row of yarn was woven in, one at a time. In addition to the weaving process, I also work almost exclusively with alpaca and wool, meaning each of those rows once started out being sheared off of the animal and spun into yarn. It's the difference between store-bought cookies, and grandma's homemade, secret recipe.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Natalie: As cliché as it may sound, I truly am the most inspired when I'm surrounded by nature, specifically when it is larger than I am. I have become a common traveler between my current home, Louisville, KY and my hometown, Raleigh, NC. While the drive seems to go on forever sometimes, I am always energized by the mountainous view spaced out by valleys of farmland. Scale is my favorite of the design elements both for aesthetic purposes and for what it represents. I think it could do all of us good to put in perspective sometimes just how small we are even in our little portion of the world.
Our Collection Favorites
It's never easy playing favorites, especially when you're as in love with this collection as I am. But if I had to pick two, I'd start with the Canby Fringe Lumbar Pillow. If you’ve been into HoM, you know we love black and white and texture-this pillow has all three! Plus it’s incredibly soft.
Another one I love is the Miranda Lumbar Pillow. It’s got this subtle chevron pattern and earthy terracotta color woven in with the tiniest bit of fringe. It’s understated and beautiful