Hannah Refaat is a textile designer who creates embroidered garments and accessories using both hand and machine embroidery. After winning the Radcliffe Craft Development Award in 2018 Hannah set up a studio at Cockpit Arts, London, where she creates bespoke work. Hannah is British-Egyptian and her practice combines traditional techniques modernised with interesting colour combinations and experimentation with media and technique.
Inspired by visits to Lebanon and Egypt, Hannah gathers ideas from galleries, shops, design studios, markets and landscapes, identifying traditional techniques, materials and colours that she can fuse with materials from both the Middle East and the West.
One of Hannah's business goals is to use textiles as a means to improve the livelihood of people through equal and fair pay. For her MA project, at the Royal College of Art, she volunteered for the charity Yadayna, where she had the opportunity to question the ethical framework within the high-fashion industry. Yadayna purchases materials, provides teaching and work to refugee women in Beirut, and the Syria/Lebanon border, Zahle. It then markets the products and sells them internationally.
Since graduation, Hannah has visited companies in Egypt that have a similar ethical business model including Thaat, which has trained 1400 disadvantaged women and created labels for them in collaboration with CSRs and development agencies such as CARE Egypt, UN Women, the National Council of Women and Kiliim, which works with craftsmen in the Sohag and Sinai desert, where they create traditional Egyptian woven homeware products. This ethical framework and transparent supply chain values every individual has inspired and drives Hannah’s future ambitions to work with people in Egypt.
For more information visit www.hannahrefaat.com