Getting to know, 'A World of Craft'
Established in Stockholm in 1967 under the name 'Afroart', this Swedish brand has become a powerhouse in the world of craft. With an aim to promote and develop traditional crafts in Africa, Asia and Latin America by supporting fair-trade practices, A World of Craft has created job opportunities in communities where craft is currently the main source of income.
The business is now owned by six designers who were educated at Stockholm University’s Faculty of Art and Design, and a great deal of the catalogue is developed in the company studio, with designers creating patterns for new stock covering a wide range of products from notebooks to bedspreads. These are produced in Fairtrade collaborations with many countries, from Mongolia to Vietnam, Bangladesh to the Ivory Coast, either working directly with the artisans or through Fair Trade organisations such as the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation). The combination of supporting, developing and spreading awareness of world crafts together with the very best of Swedish design offers a unique retail proposition, embraced around the world.
Some of the most charming products to raise a smile are its felted Christmas decorations. Goats on bicycles, dancing cows, singing mice... the selection is consistently diverse. Handmade in Nepal from felted wool, these characters are imbued with distinctive personalities, the quirkier, the better – everyone needs a smiling crocodile on their Christmas tree!
Paper decorations are also the preserve of Nepal, where the traditional art of paper making is revered, with fibres from the indigenous Lokta tree handmade into paper, much admired for its durability. This is used to create mobiles, garlands and other paper decorations, adding a gentle, sustainable touch to festive decorating.
In Mali and other African nations, there is a tradition of using whatever materials are at hand to create toys and appliances. Baba bikes are an example of this ingenuity, where tin cans, wire, scrap rubber and plastic have been used to create unique bicycle decorations that are full of personality, a much-admired gift idea.
By showcasing these traditional crafts to the rest of the world, these communities are supported financially, their craftsmanship skills are preserved, and we benefit from access to the world's most diverse and interesting craftsmanship.
Learn more with our stories and guides
Getting to Know: Seggiano
We spoke to Italian food experts Seggiano about their story, and what makes their authentic produce so special.
Arthur Parkinson's top tips for success with bulbs and Bulb Lasagne planting
Plant a visual feast with Arthur's top tips and enjoy our recipe for successful Lasagne Planting
Frequently Asked Questions: Autumn Planting Bulbs
Find all your top questions answered in this helpful guide
How To: Make A Dried Flower Garland
Inspired by the work of our Visual Merchandising team, discover how to create stunning strings of dried flower heads at home.