I was always interested in following my father’s footsteps. I have been in the weaving trade for the past thirty five years in my father’s shop in Rabat since I was eight years old. Our family (the Vella family) has been in the business of traditional crafts for the past four generations.
A wooden loom is the tool on which weaving is done. The weaver then makes use of a warp and shuttles to weave into the warp. The warp is then stretched on to the loom ready for the weaver to work on. The weaver uses both hands to weave and both his legs to manage the foot pedals, thus providing various designs.
Lots of different material can be made on the looms. All the traditional items of clothing and bedding in Malta used to be hand woven on looms such as tablecloths, curtains, underwear, shirts, sheets and bedspreads depending on the material. The bedspreads were usually handed down from generation to generation. Nowadays, the most common requests are floor mats and overthrows. These mats are a mixture of cotton and wool and have a variety of colours. The mats are hard wearing, machine washable and fit into any décor but particularly into country style and antique homes which give a nice warm atmosphere to the house. Table mats are also popular and are not only attractive but have great strength and durability.
Weaving is considered to be one of the oldest trades still used in the world, introduced in Malta with the arrival of the Phoenicians. This trade has so far endured the challenge of times and has lately increased in interest and appreciation.
We also make custom made weaving orders made according to one’s needs. All items are handmade and we guarantee full product satisfaction.
I try to take part in all the cultural activities around the island to promote my work and show how it is done. Most of the festivities are organized by the Maltese Crafts Council, Local Councils around Malta and private entities along the year. People are fascinated when listening to me explaining how it is done and they appreciate the hard work. I appreciate and support all the Maltese artists and all the crafts that are handmade.