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New In: Malaika

The Fayoum Collection of dishware conjures the magical feel of an oasis… 

Known for its exquisite collections of hand-embroidered linens for the home, Malaika launches Fayoum, a new category of covetable designs in hand painted earthenware. This new line cements the Egyptian brand’s commitment to support and promote the precious, local know-how. “We love crafts and our aim is to work with as many Egyptian artisans as possible in various fields from textiles and pottery to glass and alabaster,” says Goya Gallagher, Malaika’s co-founder. “It has been an incredible experience so far, to witness the artisans’ creativity, the pride in their work and their sense of entrepreneurship. We hope to act as a bridge and give a platform to best crafts of Egypt.” 

The Fayoum collection of tableware takes its name from the famed namesake oasis located south of Cairo in the immediate vicinity of the Nile. For centuries, this area has been the greenest and most fertile in the country and home to many renowned pottery workshops – specifically the village of Tunis. “Pottery has been a tradition of the area for thousands of years. It was revived when Evelyn Poret (a Swiss potter) set up a pottery school and taught children the craft. All of the potters we work with went to this school and many now teach the younger generations.” recalls Goya explaining why they decided to create this new collection.  “We have a soft spot for the pottery of Fayoum, there’s something very personal in every piece, as if each piece has a story to tell. And when you have seen the beauty of the potters’ studios and of their surroundings you understand the joy and hard work that goes into every design.”  

The collection is made of earthenware hand painted and then glazed; and it is a feat of colours and motifs inspired by the luxuriant vegetation and the fauna found in the area. In addition to different interpretations of palm trees and the typical local flora, the artisans introduced some playful elements in the likes of doves, fish and cute bugs. The collection comprises gorgeous platters, dinner plates and different-sized bowls, all handmade and therefore unique. 

Our selection of tableware is paired with some lovely designs from two capsule collections of home linens. The Egyptomania celebrates the enduring romance between the West and Egypt, spanning from Ancient Egypt’s symbolism and aesthetic to the lively imaginary of roaring Cairo in the twenties. The Sacred Nile Capsule is inspired by the luxuriant landscape of the Nile and partly crafted by the women who live in nearby villages and who, today still, keep ancient textile traditions alive.

Malaika

Malaika was founded in 2004 by Margarita Andrade and Goya Gallagher who, after growing up in their native Ecuador, ended up living and settling in Egypt. With a background in design and a keen interest in embroidery, crochet and hand-drawn thread work, they decided to utilize Egyptian cotton to produce high quality bed linen previously not available in the local market. Since the launch of its first collection, the brand has been flourishing: In 2009 Malaika built its own factory, enabling absolute control on quality and craftsmanship, and in 2018, it opened its own embroidery school.

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