Taluq Designs, Mitts and Slippers
Taluq Designs, located in Taloyoak, produces a line of high quality fabric mitts constructed of a durable wool stroud fabric called “duffle”. Combined with an inner lining, this napped fabric produces mitts that are windproof, water resistant, and work well in the North.
These mitts are based on traditional designs used by the Netsilingmiut for centuries. They are usually short, with fur at the wrists, fitting against the end of the sleeve of an atiggi or amauti to keep snow from blowing in. The piece on the back curves over the palm piece, and is stitched in with a gathered stitch. This ensures that the fingers are not at a seam, where the cold can sneak in.
The flower designs on the mitts are the creation of the individual sewing the mitt. They are not done from paper patterns, but as Mona Iguptaq states, “Just sewn freely!” The artist creates a design out of her imagination, combining colours and stitches to create unique wearable art. Colours of the duffle fabric and the embroidery floss are coordinated to contrast and coordinate.
The fur trim is usually commercial rabbit, which lets Taluq keep the cost of the mitts or slippers to a reasonable level, and also offers a wide range of colours.
Five women currently sew mitts and slippers for Taluq Designs, and some have been doing this for more than a decade. These include Maudie Iqiliq, Martha Panilo, Koonoo Oleekatalik, Theresa Totalik, and Linda Alookee. Each artist’s name appears on the tag affixed to the item, attesting to the fact that it is that person’s work alone.