Social inclusion and weaving

by Roland Pieter Smit, Studio Ro Smit


The story of Roland Pieter Smit's Wolwaeren blankets and rugs begins on the small Dutch island of Texel. The designer and founder of Studio Ro Smit was researching and trying to reassess the value of wool these days.

As Dutch sheep are raised for the consumption of meat, their wool has become a by-product, not valued because of its high cost of sheep shearing.

Intrigued by the incredible material and its possibilities, he joined Maartenshuis, an institution for people with intellectual disabilities that has manual weaving.

Observing the craftspeople who worked on the loom, he discovered that every artisan in the community has their own talent: “Autistic people do, for example, very precise and delicate work, while people with Down syndrome want to see quick results,” explains Roland Pieter Smit.

After this conclusion, he developed different thickness yarns: thick and very fine. To efficiently work with the new yarns, he built a new loom. The extended the weaving frames in which he enlarged and simplified it.

The workplace has enabled to stimulating social interaction of its creators.

The final results are the blankets and carpets in raw wool, with authenticity look and beauty.


Wolwaeren by Roland Pieter Smit and craftpeople from Maartenshuis




Nina Zulian

Project Wolwaeren

Roland Pieter Smit, Studio Ro Smit




Studio Ro Smit