FELT by Natalie is a lush collection of sensual and stylish silhouettes, hand-made in Ibiza by Natalie Groeneveld, using all natural ingredients and lots of love. Producing the felt itself has become her path to inner stillness since starting in 2009; here she tells us about her all natural felt collections and why felting is the perfect meditation.
“All my pieces are made with the felt technique, using only natural materials like raw silks, linen, bamboo, cotton and different kinds of organic wool.I work it all together with hot water and natural soap, and all colors are dyed naturally.”
Why do you choose to use organic natural fibers?
“It was natural to me to create my pieces with only natural materials. Above all else you can only do felting with wool, so this is the natural start already. When it comes to adding fibers and fabrics, for me the best combination is natural with natural. You can really feel the difference in texture; the softness. Also you can see the difference in how natural fibers move whilst felting; how they connect with each other and how they dye with natural plant material. Synthetic fibers would never act this way.
“Wearing natural fibers, for my clothing collections, is so much healthier for your body. To be wrapped in natural fibers means your body can breath, and it recognizes the fibers as a part of its own – like a second skin. Natural fibers also have the capacity to regulate warmth and cold. Wool is not only hot, like most people think, but the good combination of wool and silks can feel fresh and light on your skin without being hot or even itchy like people might think.”
How do you colour your felt?
“I experimented a lot with dye materials, especially how to use dye in a professional way regarding light and wash fastness. Synthetic colors are easy to make; you can make quick colors and repeat exactly the same, while natural plant colouring takes time. The fibers need a mordant, a pre-treatment, and sometimes even a preparation for days, and the colours of the plant materials can vary depending on the ph of the water.
“So here in Ibiza we use rainwater and everytime it rains the colors can come out differently. The most exiting part of natural dyeing to me is mixing colors, creating layers of colors and creating my own style of colors. In nature all colors can go together. They give a kind of softness, brightness and a beauty that you can never reach with dyeing unnaturally.”
You say on your website that felting “was like a form of healing…” ?
“The inner healing process for me is about going back to your inner self, your consciousness. That which is watching you, that which is apart from the body, mind and emotions, over viewing all. This quiet space is so big and quiet. When you do not identify yourself with your body, your mind or your emotions, how you think it has to be, or how you think you want it, creating is free, and anything and everything can take place. It is fascinating is to give yourself over to knowing nothing. Just being there is compete healing.”
I also read; “Creating felt textures gives me space to open up; to discover another level inside myself to become more transparent, more conscious and open.” Do you usually practise meditation?
“I have never practised meditation in groups or during yoga or whatever. For me this is a movement outside, while I am curious as to what is going on inside. Here we can meet our own silence.Still every day I become more and more aware of the fact that ‘not doing’ is so much more free than doing. Being aware of not being body, mind, emotions. But experience that you are the observer of it all, that is interesting! It’s really fascinating. It allows me to see what crazy antics we play in order to survive, and to see that we are free to choose every second of the day to create our own happiness.”
Tell us about your interior art.
“My interior art contains throws, blankets, rugs and expressive wall hangings that are more dense and extreme in texture. People order these for their villas or as a nice energetic decoration in their restaurant .In these items I can show my art in a different way. But still I use natural materials, plant dyes and lots of silks.
What do you love about in Ibiza?
“What attracted me to Ibiza was the nature, with less noise and distractions than Holland. Here I have the possibility to create and make FELT by Natalie a big brand. What I love in Ibiza, is that you meet so many different people from all over the world. I can show my product to this huge diverse range of people, that would not have been possible in the Netherlands, and that makes me a richer person.”
Where we can see your amazing collections?
“My silk jersey collection combined with very exclusive nuno-felt pieces and interior art can be found in Ibiza’s exclusive shops like Atzaró Agroturismo Boutique, La belle Ibiza Boutique, Cotton Beach Club, White Ibiza Beachside Boutique at la Escolera, Lilly Za boutique at the Cocoq Ibiza Home store and the Kurru Kurru Boutique in Marina Botafoch. You can also buy in Holland, Germany and California, US, and online at www.feltbynatalie.com.
Natalie also makes exclusive pieces for weddings or fashion shows like those at Atzaro, Nagai and Pacha Hotel.