My textile design class in college was one of the more difficult studios for me. In my furniture or drawing classes, if I messed up, I’d just tweak it until it looked right. Textiles took that control away from me. If the technique isn’t done properly before it goes into the bath, there’s no faking it when it comes out of the dye. That’s especially true when working with traditional dyeing techniques that have the perfect end result in mind. Serge and Ann founded Slowstitch Studio, a textile company focused on Japanese indigo dyeing, to foster their love and passion for creating textile accessories, clothing and interior soft goods with hand-dyed fabric.
Serge was introduced to Japanese handcrafted textiles when he met a man who raised silkworms and grew indigo on a rural mountain in Japan. The man became Serge’s mentor and taught him how to create indigo textiles. Ann, originally from Thailand, went to college in London. One of her first courses at school introduced her to textile design, and she received her bachelor’s degree in textile design with a specialization in weaving. Ann did computer-aided design work for an interior decoration company in Bangkok after graduation, but she missed the connection to the fabric. She quit her job and moved to Japan to study natural indigo dyeing and traditional stitch-resist Shibori techniques. Serge and Ann met in Japan while studying under the same craftsman. They have since moved to Thailand to start Slowstitch Studio and its accompanying textile garden to make their work sustainable.
The name Slowstitch comes from the painstaking technique in traditional Japanese textile design, where the fabric is marked with a pattern all over and then stitched with needle and thread where marked. Stitching, rather than tying or knotting, takes a significant amount of time — but the result is perfect. The carefully calculated stitches come out of the dye stunningly executed. The work of Slowstitch Studio is undoubtedly a labor of love. It’s clear that this business has been founded on passion and the desire to enrich our world with beauty and true craftsmanship — and today, Serge and Ann are sharing that perspective after the jump. –Lauren