Anelé: Egypt’s First Paper Quilling Line Offers New Twist On Old Craft
"Ever since we were in college we wanted to start our own project but we wanted to do something new and different,” say Anelé founder Nourhan Adel and co-founder Yassmine Essam. The college friends and fine arts graduates recently launched something very different: Egypt’s first handmade quilling line on Facebook and Instagram. We catch up with the girls to find out what inspired them to pick the craft.
by Noha Mohammed photography courtesy Anelé
Why handmade paper quilling?
Handmade paper quilling is an ancient art and was achieved with high quality for the first time by French and Italian nuns during the Renaissance in the 16th and 17th centuries when they used it to decorate book covers and religious items. We also found some sources that claim and confirm that quilling was originally practiced in ancient Egypt. And we wanted to revive our legacy with a few adjustments to suit our modern days. Our products are made completely out of paper and are water resistant and durable.
Why did you choose the name Anelé?
Anelé means coiling in French. We chose this name because it represents our concept and work. French is a very delicate and elegant language and quilling is a very delicate and neat art which starts with rolling a strip of paper into a coil and then pinching the coil into shapes that can be glued together. So we wanted to mix delicacy with the meaning. That’s how the name Anelé came about.
Your Facebook page says you do everything from wall mounted art, stationery, bookmarks and giftboxes. What else can you make?
Our target is to introduce paper in every single item we use in our lives. We managed to do this for coasters, accessories (necklaces, earrings and rings), hair accessories, letters, fridge magnets, key chains and 3D miniatures along with the items mentioned above. And we’ll be introducing other products soon as well.
Who is your target audience?
Now we’re targeting youth and teenagers with our products, even in our home décor products, we target houses and homes with contemporary or modern themes. Our plan is to make designs that are suitable for all ages and all houses’ themes. Handmade paper quilling is great for all ages and for kids too as it teaches them fine motor skills and helps them train their hand eye-coordination. Part of our plan is to make workshops about paper quilling art and spread this art among different ages.
What inspires your ideas and where do you get your materials?
The themes of our collections are inspired by Egyptian folklore (eshk eltanoura and sukar aaraeesh necklaces), Islamic patterns like (the Arabic star bookmark), animals like (the panda and elephant collections), nature, flowers and our religious and international occasions.
We get our materials from stationery shops and at first we tried to make the tools ourselves from items we use daily. Unfortunately the main tools and specific kinds of paper, such as paper that is cut into slices and ready to be used directly in quilling, are not found in Egypt. Lately we’ve been able to buy some of the tools from Japan, but not all of them. Not to mention that we have limited set of colors in paper so that’s another obstacle that we need to fix to make a successful design.
Can you custom-make items for clients? How long does it take for an order to be prepared and delivered?
Yes. Clients order through Facebook and Instagram by commenting on our posts or sending us private messages on our pages or by purchasing products on an online website that we’re part of. Our payment method is cash on delivery. The time it takes to prepare a custom-made order depends on the design and size of the item requested, but our ready-made items can be delivered directly.