Crotchet is the procedure of creating textiles with a crochet hook in order to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials. The name is derived from the French term crochet, meaning ‘small hook’. The key difference between crochet and knitting, beyond the implements used for their production, is that each stitch in crochet is completed before the next one is begun, while knitting keeps many stitches open at a time.
A Nigerian, Ibadan based Crotchet and Knitting brand, Modhan is introducing a new fashion narrative with its wool Crotchet and Knitting clothings, interior decoration pieces and accessories one collection at a time.
It’s Founder, Modupe Olakanye sheds light during an interview with Theparakeetshow.com , regarding the birth and survival of her brand amid a Covid-19 outbreak as well as the Uniqueness of her Empire. Happiness Irabor provides the excerpts:
What brought about the birth of Modhan crochet & knit brand?
Growing up I always knew that I never wanted to be regular. (laughs) It all started from being depressed, then I took it up as an hobby and then professionally. I wanted to do something unique that gives me joy and makes me happy, which is how Modhan came into existence.
Why did you choose crochet & knit to create your products?
I choose crochet & knit because it helps with my depression as I find it to be therapeutic. It helps me to be patient, it teaches me a lot of things and it is a very cool and creative aspect of creative designing as well. People think this craft is outdated. But, I wanted to show that there are ways to go about it to modernize it to make it fashionable.
What gives you inspiration to create your designs?
A lot of things gives me inspiration to create my designs, like nature. I love Art. I draw my inspiration from Art, nature, colours, watching fashion shows, musicals,yeah. (laughs).
How has your clothing brand been able to survive in a society were people prefer the western mode of dressing to African attires?
My brand has been able to survive in this kind of society because it is not regular. It is very unique and you cannot find it anywhere. It is just unique and very creative. There is a story behind every design and piece I create. I want my client to be confident in whatever they put on so by being creative and innovative, we have been able to survive in this society and people really love and admire that about us.
Does getting the actual and quality textile for your designs form a kind of challenge to Modhan’s crochet & knit clothing brand and how have you been able to overcome such challenges if it has?
Yes I would say the challenges facing the brand right now pertaining to the materials being used for production is the quality of the yarn. Yes I make use of yarn produced in Nigeria but they are not 100% cotton and a lot of my clients do appreciate the one in cotton wool material. But, the ones produced in Nigeria are not 100% cotton, they are acrylic so to overcome that challenge we have to make use of foreign product and a lot of people don’t want to pay extra for that because we are making use of foreign product and foreign products are quite expensive.
You can Imagine a bundle of wool produced in Nigeria is around 200 naira. But, for foreign it ranges, say from 1,500 naira or more. The least you can get it for is 1,250 naira, of which, that is for just one bundle. So you can imagine. If I am to make use of 10 wools of Nigeria’s product to make a piece that’s like #2000 and our clients wants quality material and I need 10 pieces, at the rate of 1000 naira that is 20,000 naira. That’s just for materials, so, how much am I going to sell it? Thus, I hope that our country produces better quality cotton wool material so it will be very good and our client will be pleased with the outfit at the end of the day.
On our part as a brand, we talk the clients into us using available materials for such production if they can’t afford the foreign material because the local material are very good, durable and long lasting. All we just have to do is to educate them on how best to take care of such materials.
How accessible are the materials and textiles you use to create your clothings?
They are very accessible, I make use of majorly the local yarn produced here in Nigeria so it is readily available and accessible. And of course on some instances I do make use of the foreign yarn. But, I majorly use the yarn we produce in Nigeria.
How has your business been surviving the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic?
This covid-19 pandemic is serious. A lot of people are not finding it funny because its affecting a lot of businesses,including mine. But, we try as much as possible to work and deliver by working remotely. Currently, I have been working from home and paying attention to details because at the end we all have to play safe and be good and alive (laughs).
What initiative do you think fashion brands need to implement in order to thrive during these tough times?
I believe the best and safest way to thrive during these tough times as a fashion designer is to work remotely, create new content, Modular your target market, invest in a lot of things that will help the business grow, and create more.
If you are to do any other thing asides crochet & knit what will it be?
If I am to do anything aside crochet and knit, that will be photography. I love taking pictures, I love modeling, I just love pictures.