Cally Booker was born in East Anglia and attended school in Cambridge. She now lives and weaves in Dundee, on the east coast of Scotland. Dundee’s waterfront setting is a continual source of inspiration for Cally. Cally’s approach to weaving combines meticulous planning and improvisation. Whilst she is content to spend hours plotting her designs and setting up the loom, curiosity compels Cally to experiment and, thus, no two pieces are ever the same. Her self-declared ‘geeky streak’ shows itself in her use of complex weave structures and data as a rich source of design inspiration (especially social and environmental data which describe Scottish life).
All of the luxurious textiles in Cally’s Bonny Claith label (meaning beautiful cloth) are hand-dyed with natural dyes and handwoven by Cally on her loom. Each handwoven piece tells a multi-layered story of natural materials and traditional skills brought to life through joyful, intuitive design. Cally’s decision to use natural dyes (as well as natural fibres) has twofold reasoning: (1) the natural palette has an underlying warmth and gentleness which is very easy to wear; (2) she is deeply concerned about the pollution caused by synthetic dyes in the textile industry – Cally buys her materials from ethical suppliers who prioritise sustainability and fair trade. Cally has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Primavera is currently her only stockist in England.