The SILLEKNOTTE collection of leather accessories for men and women is designed and crafted by Iben Friis Sørensen out of her studio in Copenhagen’s Kødbyen – a busy centre of contemporary art and design in the Danish capital.
Each specially made piece draws on a rich tradition of leather craftsmanship. With precise cuts and distinctive, detailed hand stitching, SILLEKNOTTE is also part of the lineage of innovation and skill in contemporary Danish design. But each piece is as much a result of instinct as it is of education or history.
Growing up on the rural south Jutland island of Als, Iben loved horses and their leather accessories from a young age: the weight and texture of saddles and bridles, how they take on the marks of age, and given the right care, can be kept for a lifetime; the subtle balsam smell of the leather preserves and saddle soap, the honeyed smell of leather grease.
The Friis Sørensens are a family of horse lovers, and the name SILLEKNOTTE was coined by Iben’s grandmother for her favourite horse running in a race – though not necessarily the first horse. Fond of Jabberwocky and wordplay, her grandmother would also call the young horse rider Iben by that name. Years later Iben took the moniker for her leatherworks studio.
True to the heart of Iben’s design, every material used to make a SILLEKNOTTE work is specific: the hides come from cows in southern France, are sent to Italy for tanning and then carefully selected by Iben. The resulting leather is distinctive and durable, taking on the scuffs and memories of life with grace, their colour growing deeper in character, the red stitching more vibrant with time.
Each leatherwork is named after a friend of Iben’s and carry on the intimate spirit of the personality they were conceived for. Like a friend, they age with you and stay by you, and maybe every once in a while need a little care back too.