Why Cwtch is the new Hygge

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Why Cwtch is the new Hygge

Alternative Flooring and Melin Tregwynt got together at The Campaign for Wool’s first ever Wool BnB.They asked me to be a guest blogger on their website so hereis a copy of my article written for Alternative Flooring’s Blog

We’re told that this is the year of Hygge.

A Danish word pronounced hue-ga, it loosely translates as cosiness but means much more than cosy throws and woolly rugs. Linked to the word “hug”, Hygge has a sense of encirclement, of boundaries, of a safe space. It’s about a feeling of wellbeing, about quiet enjoyment, whether through time spent with close friends or family, sitting by a fire with a hot chocolate, or putting on warm socks and dry clothes after a rainstorm.

Here in Wales, we have our own word for this.

Cwtch, (rhymes with ‘butch’) has emerged as one of the nation’s favourite words in Wales and is a small cosy place, a cubbyhole, a snug; but it also has another meaning. Cwtch also refers to the act of creating a small space between you and another – like a hug, only much better! To “cwtch-up” is to snuggle up with someone on a cold welsh winters night. The true meaning of cosy!

Cwtch has a way of transporting you back to the safety of childhood, safe and comforting. This corresponds with the word’s other meaning, which is a place to safely store things – if you give someone a cwtch, you’re offering them a safe refuge from the uncertainties of life. 

Inspiration at your fingertips

It’s interesting that the full experience of cwtch and hygge does depend on our acknowledgement of the existence of the threatening dark and cold outside this refuge. Their emergence as new trends in 2016 is perhaps a sign that we are searching for this same security, this certainty, in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world.

Concepts like cwtch reflect the way we live now, in that they gather interiors, food and fashion into one cohesive picture, like a perfectly curated Instagram still life, or a Pinterest board. Other people’s photos are part of the daily fabric of modern life. You can window shop from your computer or mobile phone. In just a few seconds, you can see exactly how other people do it in their own homes.  But hygge and cwtch are about how we feel, rather than simply being about how things appear.

Cwtch-Up your home with cosy, soft textures and wool carpets

Wool is a natural provider of cwtch and woven woollen blankets and throws, fabrics and soft floor rugs are the natural embodiment of cwtch along with woolly jumpers and thick socks, hot drinks and a warm fire.

But it’s not really about products with a practical use; but rather magical objects that summon up feelings and emotions: of safety and solace, of comfort and calm. This matters, because one of the biggest change in consumer habits in the last decade relates to how we spend our disposable income on experiences over possessions these days. Social media has turned individual experience and stories into social and cultural capital for your disposal, ready to be framed and hash tagged, inspiring others around the world.

Consumers are always looking for stories – but they must be local and authentic. Companies that have stayed close to their roots are prospering, even in the current economic climate.

20 years ago we didn’t emphasize the traditional Welsh roots of our fabrics; We sold our work on its appearance and design. These days, we find that the authenticity and the story behind the company are equally important.

The same applies to Alternative Flooring with their hand woven Barefoot wool carpet.

Blankets are physical objects not concepts, but blankets have always had a symbolic meaning above and beyond their physical presence. They are always handed out after any disaster, any disruption of the norm as a source of comfort. If somebody is in shock, people reach for a blanket or something to cover them, to hide them or to comfort them.  Blankets and throws have become synonymous with safety in the face of shock, uncertainty, and the darkness beyond.

Even Dr Who, the fearless Time Lord himself, keeps some Melin Tregwynt blankets on the Tardis just for emergencies!

Today, tens of millions of online consumers are pro-actively blogging, telling and showing each other, what they’re feeling, thinking and doing.

At its best, the craze for hygge and cwtch could encourage a love of simplicity over expensive brands and conspicuous consumption, a renewed focus on the social relations that really matter. At worst, it could boil down to just another way of selling candles, Danish designer lighting, and even Welsh woven blankets.

Discover more about Melin Tregwynt here and browse Alternative Flooring’s Wool carpets for a taste of this feeling for your own home.

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New Spring Colours

Our Knot Garden design is one of our classic Doublecloth designs that we have been weaving since the 50’s - this year we have had some fun in the mill creating 3 new colourways. 

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Just in time for St Davids day

Launched today in time for St.Davids day, a new sample colour way in our traditional St.Davids Cross design.

There was only a limited amount woven… It was a case of - first come first served - And they are all gone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NEW for Autumn 2015 - Special Edition

A SPECIAL EDITION WITH A FEEL GOOD FACTOR 

30% of proceeds will be donated to help good causes in Wales

KNOT GARDEN - COMMUNITY

Teaming up with champions of philanthropy -

The community Foundation in Wales

we have re-coloured our classic Knot Garden

design - for more details click here.

30% of proceeds will go to The Fund for Wales -

(a fund managed by the Community Foundation

in Wales) which in turn will be match funded by

the Big Lottery Fund - helping to create brighter

futures for communities in Wales

Following the success of our limited edition in our Madison

design earlier this year - which helped to raise over £6000

for the Community Fund for Wales (& sold out in a week) …

we thought it only right, to team up again & make a special

edition - giving more people the chance to buy something

that will go towards making a difference to Welsh

communities

Each blanket, throw and cushion includes special Edition embroidery

To order or request a free sample - simply call: 01348 891644

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Colenimo A/W 15 designs use British fabrics

 

For AW15 the fashion designer Colenimo presents a collection inspired by the exquisite voice of English folk singer Anne Briggs, an influential musical figure who, despite her natural talents, sought neither fame or fortune. With an irresistible purity and natural beauty in her voice and a style rooted in simplicity and tradition her influence spread far and wide in 1960s Britain.

The collection created from many UK produced fabrics is made in the UK. The pieces include coats and tops made from John England Irish Linen, tailored coats and trousers constructed of Moon’s Heritage striped wool fabrics, flared trousers and shorts made from Melin Tregwynt Welsh blanket fabric, heavy melton and lambs wool checked jackets, a British shearling flight jacket, a natural Woad indigo dyed 100% wool top and knitted ponchos produced in collaboration with Corgi.

 

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