Fashion meets tech with Tamara Anna Efrat

Written by
Sharon Feiereisen
Israel is at the forefront of technology and that trickles into every field – even fashion. Case and point, textile designer Tamara Anna Efrat. With a background that includes working as a stylist, a set and costume designer and behind the scenes for major brands like Yigal Azrouel and Victor & Rolf, Efrat has also presented at Tel Aviv Fashion Week - all of which has helped hone her cutting, sewing, knitting and embroidery skills, as well as her computer software and technical skills. Today, she works in several mediums to produce her housewares, fashion designs and accessories. We spoke with the designer to find out more about what’s on the docket to come. 

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How did you get into textile design?
I have been fascinated by craft since early childhood, but my passion for fabrics came from my grandma. She was born in Poland in a small town of tailors and she taught me all about cutting, sewing and embroidery. She survived the Holocaust thanks to her sewing skills.  
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I am strongly influenced by the Japanese aesthetic and craftsmanship. I just came back from a month-long visit there, updating myself with recent Japanese work. I hope that my own work reflects the precision, gentleness and thoughtful detailing characteristic of Japanese craft and art.
What kind of products do  you make?
I see myself as an interdisciplinary designer. I make products and objects that refer to traditional crafts and introduce contemporary technology. I work mostly with fabrics and computer software. I try to see how, by using computer intelligence, I can receive different qualities from fabrics.   

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What pieces are you most proud of?
I’m quite proud of the Crafted Technology project. It was a collaboration with Moran Mizrahi and Amit Zoran from Hebrew University’s computer science department.  Together we developed eight algorithms that change the pattern of traditional smock embroidery and bring out different qualities of the fabric such as three-dimensionality, elasticity, axial movement and structural strength. The project’s goal was to make the world of computer software accessible for designers without compromising personal creativity.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I will be investigating new materials and technologies and developing new objects. Architecture is very close to my heart and I wish to scale up some of my work and see how it can come across with larger spaces. 

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