Established in Porto in 2015, atelier KARAKA develops collections, made to measure projects, and unique textile pieces to integrate interior design, events, and collections, exploring the concept of exclusivity and implementing sustainability practices.
The Founder and Textile Designer
Marta Afonso is the face and hands behind atelier KARAKA. Marta was born in Vila Nova de Gaia in 1989 and early on showed a proclivity for drawing and the desire to venture into sewing, fascinated by her grandmother’s skilful hands. With a BA in Design and a MA in Communication Design, she felt the desire to pursue a specialisation in textiles with a Postgraduate degree in Textile and Fashion Design. It was in an atelier in Barcelona that she allowed herself to be seduced by the techniques of engraving and manual stamping, which she has not abandoned since. She also took courses on fitting and garment sewing and currently she divides her time between the atelier projects and teaching.
My background in Design allows me to look at the projects with a global and process-based point of view, combining creativity, functionality, and relevance.
Drawing is a constant part of my practice. It is a way of thinking, recognising, and celebrating the world around me.
There is an undeniable connection to nature: to its forms, textures, colours, and patterns. Travelling to destinations such as India and Brazil left marks of an exotic and vibrating universe, that translates into occasionally bolder shapes, while others are simpler and more delicate.
Every piece comes from entirely manual processes, made by individuals. We mostly explore manual fabric stamping techniques (such as block printing and stencilling), not only by printing the fabric itself but also by developing the matrixes themselves (handcrafted stamps and stencils).
As an atelier, everything is made with time and attention to detail, which gives origin to unique pieces that showcase the dedication placed onto them. By exploring manual stamping techniques, each piece is slightly different, but all carry an unmistakeable charisma and beauty. The irregularities remind us of human nature itself and are a memory of the manual creation process.