Since 2015, Atelier Karaka is dedicated to exploring traditional fabric printing techniques as a way to develop unique pieces and limited editions of household textiles, wall coverings and accessories. Designs can also be digitally printed and applied to large scale fabrics and wallpapers.
Our work process begins and ends with the intervention of the hands. Drawing is always present, preferably with brush and Chinese ink, enjoying the natural light from the windows of our studio.
From here, we take into account the needs of each project as well as the constraints of each hand printing technique.
After choosing the best path, matrices (stencils, stamps, linoleum or others) are created that will allow the final pieces to be printed on fabric.
The hand printing process is time-consuming and labor intensive but incredibly magical. It gives rise to unique variations and textures – a visual richness impossible to achieve by digital / industrial methods.
With concerns regarding social and environmental sustainability, we give preference to fabrics made of natural fibers and water-based non-toxic inks, while establishing partnerships with craftspeople and local businesses in answer to any challenge.
My name is Marta Afonso and I am the face and hands behind Atelier Karaka. The textile world soon sparked my interest. I was delighted with the skill with which my grandmother embroidered, crocheted, cross stitched, knitted, among other skills. I started by studying textile design but, despite the desire to pursue studies in fashion design, I was discouraged by my parents and the fabric universe was kept in a drawer that was always half opened. Years later, crafts started to speak louder. I lived a season in Barcelona, where I attended a print shop and fell in love with the techniques of lino and xilo print. I enrolled in modeling and sewing courses that awoke the desire to create things myself, both clothes and also prints. After 5 years working in communication design, the longing to return to textiles made me to quit and create Atelier Karaka.