Palson & Penner is a mother-daughter fashion duo. Their highly-identifiable aesthetic begins with the handweaving process, in which they craft each garment thread-by-thread. This is an ever-more-rare artform, as clothing manufacturers increasingly rely on mass-produced fabrics. For Patrica and Molly, the decision to keep handweaving an integral part of their business is obvious. There is satisfaction inherent in hand-producing intricate cloth. Handweaving offers the designer full control over pattern, fiber content, weight, and texture, considering the tactile experience as well as the visual one. It allows this fashion house to offer fabrics not seen anywhere else.
Palson & Penner incorporate modern design elements and sustainable natural fibers to craft fresh, wearable garments. Their process is thoughtful, low-waste, and intensely hands-on; it embodies the tenets of the slow fashion movement.
They have been experimenting with textural elements, such as feathery bamboo and fulled wool floating above a cotton foundation. This brings movement, playfulness, and luxury to both structural and flowing pieces. The textiles complement and inspire the shapes in the garments, many of which are unique and not reproducible.
They work almost exclusively with natural fibers, which are both earth-friendly and skin-friendly. The cashmere is mill-end, rescued from high-end design houses. The bamboo is cultivated using an environmentally sound process, free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The wool is produced in the next state, reducing shipping requirements. These sourcing decisions contribute to truly ethical products.
It runs in the family.
One fateful college semester, Patricia Palson took handweaving as an elective. This planted a seed that, years later, would bloom into a career. After graduating with a degree in Interior Design, she took that field by storm, working in architecture firms in Milwaukee and Boston, eventually leading her own team. But that weaving elective always called to her. When she married, her husband gave her a floor loom as a wedding gift (he got a canoe). When Molly was born, Patricia decided not to resist anymore, and finally accepted weaving as her calling. For thirty years, Patricia has explored the worlds of textile and fashion, finding the perfect intersection of art and clothing. She built a fashion house the same way she makes fabric, thread-by-thread.
Now Patricia's daughter Molly has come on board. Molly has spent her life steeped in the family business. From when she was eight years old, she ran a kid-sized handweaving company, selling chenille scarves around New Hampshire. After college, she also tried her hand at a non-weaving career, becoming a technical writer for a large multinational engineering company in Texas. She too felt the pull of weaving and boomeranged back to the family business. Now back in New England with her new husband, she is fully submerged in the weaving world. She thrilled to add her take on what handwoven clothing can be.