Slowstitch Studio: The Beauty of Creating with Hands, Time & Soul
Words by Dhivyaa Chelvan
Ann Ngamdamronk and Serge Tishkin, the mastermind behind Slowstitch, a sustainable dyeing and weaving studio are building a unique shibori label. They aim to push the limits of shibori by experimenting with complex patterns and botanical colors that are unusual to this art. But let’s back up for a minute and see how it all started.
Growing up in Thailand, Ann always had a passion for arts and design. She studied Textile Design in London and returned to Bangkok to work as a textile designer. After two years, Ann quit her job and flew to Japan to study indigo dyeing and traditional Japanese textiles as she felt the need for sensory experience. It was this introduction of natural dyes and sustainable ways of creating textile art that would later lay the framework for their artisan label. While in Japan, she met Serge who was studying under the same craftsman. Serge, originally from Siberia, entered the world of textiles by chance and instantly found working with his hands to be addicting and particularly soothing to the mind.
Now back in Thailand, Ann and Serge work with domestically produced hand spun or hand-woven fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, wool or hemp, and extract dyes from indigo and other botanical sources. The process of developing pattern is long and complicated and takes anywhere from a couple of days to many weeks, depending on the designs and techniques used. Read more about their process here.
They intend to stand out from other shibori artists and labels by exploring and developing a variety of colours using various natural produces like coffee beans, onion skin, sappanwood, the bark of maphuut, mangosteen and pomegranate skins, eucalyptus leaves, and pods from the myrobalan trees. Serge also works to establish an ‘edible forest garden’ in Northern Thailand which will integrate edibles together with plants that can be harvested for their use in textile work.
One of the most intriguing experiments of Slowstich studio is the “The Blossoming Energy” project which is a steam assisted direct print on pre-treated silk where various plant materials (leaves, flowers, stalks, petals, berries) are sprinkled on the fabric, rolled and steamed for several hours and is left overnight before washing.
Slowstitch studio’s finished pieces are crafted into textile accessories, clothing and interior goods. Shop here.