Elsa Cappelli

design through development

plaited braid hat a plaited straw braid
palm textile straw hat 1a

Drawing on her background as an accessories designer, textile artist and lecturer, Elsa Cappelli works collaboratively with women in remote regions of the world to design and develop materials and products that draw on indigenous techniques and processes. All materials are ethically sourced from artisans in developing countries whom Elsa has either trained herself or has visited in person.

So far, Elsa Cappelli products include exclusive, hand crafted headpieces and textiles made by Elsa; witty occasion hats produced in partnership with a group of women in Uganda and a series of plaited palm leaf braids made in Uganda and which are available to other crafts practitioners. The range now includes Barkcloth bags and further research is underway to develop and perfect ways of working with barkcloth for contemporary fashion.

Elsa Cappelli products aim to represent the power of the hand made - in all its individuality - in reconnecting consumers to makers in ways that machine-made goods can never do. Formed from natural and sustainable materials that grow locally to the artisans, the plaited braids provide a valuable source of income for women who live in challenging circumstances and provide them with a generous return for their work. Elsa Cappelli works on a non-profit basis, aiming to build long term relationships with the communities she works with and to support their social well-being, in the belief that we are all connected and we can all make a difference.