Craft: Sewing - Fernanda and Luisa

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Fernanda and Luisa are sisters who work side by side in the upholstery department at the De La Espada factory. Stationed at the sewing machines, they are responsible for bringing together cut fabric components to create the precisely tailored upholstery that dresses our furniture. Working with a wide range of textiles, they achieve consistent, steady seams across every contour of the often-complex forms of our products. This is particularly challenging when working with leather as it is thick, heavy and unforgiving: the leather must be sewn perfectly the first time, as any corrections would reveal puncture holes from the previously applied stitches. The seamstresses must work with great concentration and steady movements to achieve the required level of perfection on edges and seams. Their understanding of the craft allows them to offer essential advice in the development of new products, helping us to achieve technically challenging stitching, refine patterns, and create features such as intentional creasing.

The eldest of the two, Fernanda, began sewing at the age of 12 and has spent most of her life sewing apparel both for her personal use and for a living. She taught her sister Luisa how to sew at the age of 23, and for 10 years they worked together designing and making clothing to sell direct to clients. Later they worked together as seamstresses for apparel brands before joining De La Espada. Almost inseparable, the sisters have spent most of their careers working together, and live within arm’s reach of one another, just two minutes from the factory.

Photo credit: Carlos Teixeira