Behind the Brand with Hamaji - Meet the Artisans

Hamaji is a brand that truly encapsulates the Gather&See ethos. Meaning 'nomad' in coastal Swahili, Hamaji is an African designer collection created around preserving ancient textile traditions and nomadic craftsmanship while empowering small-scale artisans in Africa.

Founder and designer Louise Somerlatte started the brand in 2017 with collections are composed from natural fibres, botanical dyes, hand craft, embroidery, and up-cycled collected vintage textiles. 

At the very heart of the brand are the talented artisans who expertly bring the designs to life using traditional techniques. We are so excited to bring you more of an insight into these makers and how they work. Truly inspiring stories behind truly beautiful pieces.

Mt. Kenya region, Kenya

Beatrice & Stella

Two sisters from the Kikuyu tribe nestled on the foot hills of Mt. Kenya. Beatrice and Stella hand knit all of Hamaji's knitted pieces with a combination of hand spun silk and cotton. Stella also embellishes this the silk dresses with crochet detailing. Through their craft they can now earn a living and work from the comfort of their homes.

"Hamaji has given me the opportunity to earn a living for my family and the exposure to showcase my knitting and crocheting skills to the world"

Bengal, India

Woven Fabric Studio

Deep in rural West Bengal lies a small village called Berhampore. A village steeped in the age old tradition of silk farming, spinning and weaving. This is where all Hamaji's hand woven peace / ahimsa silk comes from. As the name implies, ahimsa (meaning non-harmful in Hindu) is silk made through a cruelty-free process that is kinder to all the life forms on this planet. It has been invented in India and is based on the principles of respecting and honouring nature.

Nairobi, Kenya

Hand Loom Weaving

All Hamaji's handloom garments are made at a local Looming factory in Nairobi under Gladys Abode. Here they employ over 30 traditional hand loomers who spend their days weaving and mastering the art of hand woven cottons.

 "Each Hamaji creation is a result of artisanal collaboration between our global network of artisans where we weave ancestral techniques with contemporary ideas. Working mostly with women in remote corners of Kenya and India it is our mission to foster a portal of connection and co creation to promote these hand techniques and traditions."

Louise Sommerlatte, Founder