We all have desires, some are uncontrollable. When I met Ziva Epstein I discovered a desire I didn’t know existed – I asked her what brought her to do what she’s doing, and heard the most unexpected answer: “an uncontrollable desire for threads”. I couldn’t conceal my surprised look, so she explained patiently: “it’s just like you have an uncontrollable desire for aesthetics, I can tell”.
Ziva has been weaving all her life. “It’s not something I inherited, my parents had nothing to do with it”, she smiles. “It’s just that the threads excite me – their texture, color, the way they feel”.
After learning weaving from Druze women and in Kyoto, Japan, without understanding a word in Japanese, Ziva feels like she understands the threads’ language. “Every thread has its story – the silk threads from the Far East, threads I order from Italy, threads I have woven especially for me in Israel”.
She tells me all this, as we stand by the loom, which she attends to with love and care, at her house in Magshimim village, Israel.
Three years ago, Ziva partnered Diana Broitman, and the two founded a clothing brand, NULAH. The name comes from “nul”, the Hebrew translation for loom.
“I wanted to make clothes and was looking for a partner. I found Diana, who also has a huge desire for arts and crafts. She lives and breathes textiles”, says Ziva.
Now, Diana designs and Ziva weaves, but the division is merely a formality. Actually, they do everything together. Today, the brand is already sold in numerous stores in israel, such as LIMKA and ALMA BANKER in Tel Aviv, and of course in Ziva’s studio on 19th HaTamar st., in Magshimim village.
And it looks like it’s working – I tried on a few designs I really loved, especially this silver fringe dress (pictured). I immediately pulled it from the rack, and only later discovered it was worn by singer Shiri Maimon at a teaser video of X-Factor Israel. The dress is feminine and sensual, flowing on the curves and can fit any festive occasion. The white version of the same design served as a unique wedding dress a number of times already.
Another piece I tried on, a golden shirt, also has a very interesting vibe – a look that combines an ‘armor’ cut with soft-falling threads. I’d wear it casually with jeans, or for a night out, with black leather pants.
All in all, I was very impressed with the high quality of items small or large, as high as an international brand’s standards (which is not to be taken for granted in Israel). The prices aren’t cheap, but certainly worth the quality.
. How long does it take to weave such an item, I asked Ziva. “I don’t weave time, I weave a story”, she answered.
Talented people that make their dreams come true – especially on such a high level of craftsmanship – inspire me, as I’m sure they inspire many others.
I don’t doubt the two are on the right track – all I can do is wish them luck, and you – recommend one of their items, guaranteed to spice up your wardrobe.
And then – just listen to the story.