Rachael Grochowski FELT ARTIST
Montclair | 973-707-2081 | feltbyrg.com
Rachael Grochowski has a thing for felt. She loves its soft tex-
ture. She loves that it’s eco-friendly and, since it’s 100 percent
wool, entirely renewable. She loves that it’s durable and mois-
ture-resistant. She loves it so much she spends hours every
week hand-stitching her felt tabletop pieces. “I’m such a visual
and textural person,” she says. “Felt in the hand fulfills that.”
At her mother’s urging, Grochowski started sewing at age
four and became an adept seamstress. She studied architec-
ture and opened her own firm, RHG Architecture + Design,
almost 12 years ago in Montclair. But the siren song of felt
continued to call. On a creative whim, she crafted some place-
mats for herself. “I enjoyed the architecture and the materi-
als, so I picked up the needle and thread and felt,” she says.
In 2012, she launched a new enterprise named, simply, “felt.”
Using thick, industrial-grade felt, Grochowski hand-stitch-
es her pieces with three di;erent stitching styles. The stitching
is carefully haphazard. The result: No two pieces are the same.
After crafting placemats, napkin rings, runners and coasters, Grochowski started displaying her collection of tabletop
pieces at craft shows. “People can’t stop touching it,” she says.
Her designs are sold on her website and just two retail locations—Verdigreen Home in Montclair and Curate in Millburn.
Placemats are $20 each; a set of four coasters is $35.
Grochowski is drawn to an earthy palette of browns, grays
and neutrals, often paired with dandelion yellow, rich burgundy
and mossy green. While she will take custom orders, “there are
certain color combinations that I won’t work in,” she says. “I’ll
help a person down a path, selecting colors that are calming.” ;
Felt pieces surround
in the light-filled
studio of her architecture o;ce. About
one-fifth of her work
week is now spent on
felt, she says, “and
a lot of evenings and