Sophie Digard Crochet Scarves, Dolls, and Accessories

I was recently asked if I knew anything about the crocheters from Madagascar that help complete the crochet work for designer Sophie Digard. To be honest, I’d never heard of Sophie Digard, but I immediately wanted to learn more. 

I’m greatly interested in the topic of Fair Trade crochet and how the artisans who produce crochet items for sale are treated. I did some digging to learn more about Sophie Digard, her designs, and the artisans who produce these items. 

I was able to turn up some evidence that the workshop that produces Sophie Digard’s work in Madagascar is likely an example of Fair Trade crochet. I’m excited to share that information and some of her beautiful designs with you. 

Who is Sophie Digard?

Sophie Digard is a French designer of knitwear. She has been creating jewelry and clothing since 1999 from fibers that are hand-dyed in France with vegetable-based dyes.

These fibers are then shipped to her workshop in Madagacar, where local artisans use crochet, knitting, and embroidery to hand-make these beautiful and unique pieces. 

Sophie’s Crochet Scarves

Sophie Digard is known for her beautiful accessories, including jewelry, handbags, scarves, and dolls. Her scarves are often crafted from delicate, tiny crochet work in lovely earthy tones. Here are a few outstanding examples:

This scarf is made up of many delicate flower shapes in earth tones. I love the scalloped spaces between the finished edge and the flower shapes- that type of open-weave design is something that always says “crochet” for me. 

This scarf looks even more delicate. Each flower is lacy, made up of multiple colors, and carefully joined together into this 100% wool scarf. 

I learned that one of the reasons that Sophie Digard is popular among a niche group of crochet lovers is that her work is intricate and complicated to do. The amount of work that goes into each piece is apparent when I look at these photos. 

Many sources described Digard’s work as time consuming, which is to be expected. After all, crochet must be done by hand. However, these pieces are exceptionally intricate. In an article from Selvedge, I also learned that each piece contains up to 60 threads in order to create the desired color palette. 

In my research, I also found that a lot of care goes into both creating and packaging her work. Sophie uses natural materials including rustic linen and merino wool. She uses a natural vegetable dyeing process that can take weeks per item.

Other Sophie Digard Crochet

Although Sophie is known for her great crochet scarves, she also has some other great crochet designs:

This brooch features crochet on the stem.

This bag is decorated with crocheted medallions. It is described as a “statement bag,” and I think that’s definitely true, thanks to the texture of the crocheted embellishments. 

Sophie Digard also designs dolls, like this linen and wool crochet bear doll. Her dolls follow the same muted, natural color palette as her accessories. 

Sophie Digard Pinterest Boards

You can find Sophie Digard on Instagram if you want to see more of her work. There are also several Pinterest boards that crochet lovers have dedicated to her creations. 

Sophie Digard, Madagascar, and Fair Trade Crochet

Everywhere that you see Sophie’s name, you see her described as French or Parisian. You’ll also see frequent references to her workshop in Madagascar, where her items are made by hand. 

I came across this DNC article that shared a little bit more. It explains that Sophie has been living in Madagascar with her family for more than half a dozen years, leaving two of her sisters in France to run the operations there.

Sophie designs the products and they are produced by hundreds of local Malagasy women. Traditional techniques are used and combined with a French aesthetic to make the final products.

Although the article doesn’t say specifically that she offers a fair wage to women artisans in Madagascar, it seems likely. Selvedge confirms that Digard works to fair trade principles and describes Digard’s operation as “a vehicle for social improvement… providing income to her employees while nourishing traditional textile skills.” 

I also learned that Sophie Digard is a client of Bosnian Handicrafts, an organization that helps women in Bosnia and Herzegovina earn a living by producing handmade goods for sale. 

The goal of Bosnian Handicrafts is to provide women who have survived trauma and hardship with a way to support themselves through their crafts. The women learn to apply their knitting, crocheting, and embroidery skills to create products that appeal to international and domestic markets.

Since Sophie Digard is a client of this company, we can assume that she supports humanitarian work like the work that Bosnian Handicrafts does. 

Sophie Digard Inspiration

The complex colors of Sophie Digard’s work are inspired by nature. She spent her childhood traveling with her parents, and she draws inspiration from those worldwide travels as well as from nature. 

Her Instagram page features beautiful nature photos sprinkled among her creations, and their influence on her design work is clear. The photo below if lichens on stone, for example, fits perfectly among the ecru accessories posted nearby. 

I hope you’ll take some time to check out Sophie Digard’s work. It’s inspiring to see such intricate and delicate work, and it’s especially heartening to know that it was produced under fair trade conditions. 

Kelsey Mlnarik

Kelsey has been a crafter since childhood and enjoys crochet, sewing, and any craft she can make with her children. She loves learning new techniques and sharing what she learns along the way. Kelsey someday hopes to be someone's crafty grandmother, crocheting afghans and drinking entire pots of coffee.

28 thoughts on “Sophie Digard Crochet Scarves, Dolls, and Accessories”

  1. Woot!  You did her designs and their work proud!  Totally scooped me on the raffia!

    •  @janicedavey Thanks! I put a ton of research into it. That one link is the only place that I saw anything about her and raffia. It’s completely different from her other work but I think it’s cute.

  2. I’ve known Sophie for over five years and she’s a charming and creative artist. Her heart is more in her designs and new products than in the business end of things. She has hundreds of designs and over 90 color palettes in both linen and wool. It’s almost like ordering from DeBeers, not quite sure what you’re getting, but it’s always spectacular… I change the Sophie inventory on my website frequently, so please keep checking!
    Lisa (aka The French Needle)

  3. I’ve worked with Sophie for over five years and she’s a charming and creative person. She’s too involved in the artistic side of things to get bogged down with business! She has over 200 designs, 95 palettes, wool and linen. When I receive an order from Sophie it’s like getting an order from DeBeers… Never quite sure what it will be, but always spectacular!
     I change my inventory frequently, check the site for new products!
    Lisa (aka the french needle)

  4. Hi, thank you for sharing my Pinterest board about Sophie Digard and for this article! I also found her work in Selfedge and hope to see and  it in real life once. I will follow you from now on, great info about my favorite topic!

  5. Hi, thank you for sharing my Pinterest board about Sophie Digard and for this article! I also found her work in Selfedge and hope to see and  it in real life once. I will follow you from now on, great info about my favorite topic!

  6. I wanted to ask/add, the multi-stranded color method of crochet used in most of the Sophie designs I have heard referred to as “melange” or described as being similar to “millifiori” in glasswork, a thousand colors, yet I haven’t been successful in finding any more about it as a “crochet technique” or it’s origins.  See what a monster you have created!

    •  @janicedavey I couldn’t find any additional information about how the technique is worked in any of my reading. Like you, I saw many references to “melange”. I know that melange yarn refers to some type of process where lots of short strands of fibers are dyed before they are spun together. And I know that it said somewhere that Sophie uses natural dyes. So maybe it has more to do with the process of creating the yarn that it is finally used in each piece than the technique itself. But that’s just a guess.

  7. Oh love her work. Thanks. Will follow, thank you. I find crocheting therapeutic and follow my mother’s love for it.Her fine crocheting is like lace.

  8. This is so wonderful to see – a designer from Sydney as my mother came from Oz, I still have so much family in NSW and my brother and his family live on the West Coast.   Her work is marvelous and interesting,  I will be looking at more of her work in the future.  Again, thank you for sharing this with us in this news.  So exciting to see.

    • @PWestin There are some terrific Australian crochet designers. Lisa Maree is known for her crochet swimsuits. Jenny King Designs was featured in the most recent Vogue Knitting Crochet. Crochetroo from Queensland sells her patterns on Etsy. Mary Card does lacework …

        • @PWestin I should do a full post on this. Australian crocheters don’t get enough attention! I think someone told me there’s not even an Australian crochet magazine. 
          Oh, and I think the wonderful Sarah London is also in Sydney.

  9. Hi Kathryn,

    a good article about the lovely Sophie Digard and her work, though please be advised that you have misinterpreted information from my site. Sans-Arcidet products are completely unrelated to Sophie Digard products…they are just both made in Madagascar and I happen to sell them both wholesale into Australia and NZ (well did, now I only sell Sophie Digard). So your reference to my article “Sophie has been living in Madagascar with her family for more than half a dozen years, leaving two of her sisters in France to run the operations there. …” etc is actually an article about the brand Sans-Arcidet and not Sophie Digard.

    That said, Sophie has indeed started to create new collections of hats and bags in raffia, both crocheted and macrame pieces that are absolutely beautiful, but these are in no way related to Sans-Arcidet the brand or their work.

    I hope this is clearer for you now. Please correct your article accordingly.

    Kind regards,

  10. “So although it doesn’t say  specifically that she offers a fair wage
    to women artisans in Madagascar, it seems likely that this is a fair
    trade artisan crochet situation.”
     WHY is this fair treatment “likely”?No evidence is offered that the
    women are fairly compensated.Exploitation is much more common and
    therefore more likely  and companies that do compensate workers more
    fairly  usually  broadcast the fact rather than maintain silence.  But
    by all means, enjoy your $300 scarves.

  11. Dear Minerva1951, your comment is interesting. I found that throughout the many decades of my life there is hardly anything textile made at fair prices (i.e. accommodated to the countries’ average wage situation). Trace your clothing and you might be surprised. Your last sentence is troubling me though.  You might be right with your accusations but it is not right to make offensive comments because there is no actual proof that Sophie Digard is exploiting the women in Madagascar, maybe she is one of the few who doesn’t but is not touting her fairness? Until one knows for sure, one should not point fingers, but of course, you certainly make a point which is definitely not missed. Another point in this context: often, when one is older, one feels utterly useless. Working something like crocheting or knitting items, being together with other women who do the same, making really beautiful things – I must say that I would be happy to have somebody giving me such pleasure of being useful and my expertise being appreciated, maybe working in groups and feeling less lonely,  and even get money for the work, even if it happens to be just needle money – I’d be very happy indeed. Nothing worse than being alone and useless.

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