Belarus is rich in textile traditions and craftsmanship, where knitting has become interwoven with family, charity, and togetherness. In times past, women handcrafted knitwear to protect against harsh winters and supplement their incomes.
Visitors to the capital city of Minsk need only go to the Old Town to find streets and outdoor markets lined with textile and artisan boutiques, selling everything from handcrafted mittens and caps to intricate dollies and home décor.
Today, Gaâla wants to go a step further in honoring Belarusian textile traditions and the women who dedicate their lives to their craft. To this end, we have launched an exciting project that gives talented artisans the opportunity and tools to knit sweaters that will be available for purchase on Gaâla's website. All the proceeds from these purchases will support the knitters and their families; Gaâla will not make a profit.
Armed with a passion and a pair of knitting needles, these are the three women behind the Close-Knit story.
Knitting since childhood, Yulia: A lawyer, mother, and artisan, explains that when working with your hands, you put your emotions and energy into that which you create; "I believe it is the people who knit and sew, and those that wear the finished product that tells a story, rather than the item of clothing itself."
Elena doesn't go a day without knitting; as a busy mother and teacher, it is a way to relax and unwind but also an additional source of income. She dreams of running a yarn studio one day, where she can share her passion in the company of like-minded people.
Although newly retired, Olga says that the secret to staying young is by keeping the mind sharp and hands busy. She uses her free time to knit clothing and household items for her two children and grandchildren.
The yarn used in making our sweaters is soft, light, and luxuriously warm. Made from 100% alpaca, and cozy merino wool that feels wonderful on the skin, its fibers are untreated, which means they are not exposed to any chemical treatment.
We hope that as you envelop yourself in the warmth of our knitwear, you will feel the love weaved into every stitch, and they will become cherished forever's.