The SILK & SPICES collection lends stylish homes a timeless, yet surprisingly textile air. World-class materials with tranquil colours and distinct designs. How did this interplay of classic elegance and fresh ideas develop in Création Baumann’s Langenthal studio? We asked textile designer Sibylle Aeberhard, in charge of creating the fabric, to tell us the story. Find inspiration from this insight into the creative textile process.
The need for variety is a recurring theme when designing a collection. Contrasts create suspense, adding to the attractiveness of the entire collection. This applies to materials, textures and designs. I am inspired all the time when I’m collecting ideas. One of the goals is that the fabrics have to work independently while providing a coherent overall appearance. To ensure that the whole remains harmonious despite all of its differences, the contrasts need to use the same technique.
We start—plainly—with the task, followed by research. Initially, this research is quite analytical and involves the market, sales, competitors. I try to get a feel for the topic, to find out why it fascinates me, and what is in the air, resulting in moodboards with colours and designs. The draft stage is about researching technical implementation options, choosing materials, composing the colours and defining the design. The key is then to summarise everything, by balancing distinct ideas and an open creative process.
Curiosity, openness, a desire to experiment and — time allowing — a willingness to break new ground. It is challenging to have the conceptual framework in mind while taking creative liberties time and again. This is a balancing act which sometimes becomes a bit chaotic but always has to be analytical.
What you need in any case is an open and critical exchange. Ideally, it is a mutual process between people who inspire and support each other because they enjoy what they do and are passionate about it, with a common goal of succeeding with their product.
In terms of techniques there was a certain requirement. Warp print, jacquard, embroidery—these are traditional techniques. It is about knowing which technique to use to systematically achieve the desired—in the case of SILK & SPICES, the contemporary—creative expression, nodding to the textile tradition while breaking new ground.
FEELING AND DISCOVERING WHY THE TOPIC FASCINATES YOU AND HAVING AN INKLING OF WHAT IS IN THE AIR—THAT HAS AN INSPIRING EFFECT.
Whether materiality, playing with the matte-shine effect, the design or the colours—you always have to ask yourself what fits in where. If I want to bring colour into the collection I need to see where it is harmonious so that it works on its own and within the collection. This means trying and testing, composing, letting go and discarding—an intuitive process.
Yes, it was. With this fabric we need to prolong the point where warp print and jacquard overlap. The pattern must spread evenly. We don’t want an accumulation of flowers in one place and emptiness in another. This is about technical refinements that need proper planning. The finish also plays an important role, in particular the feel of the material.
As a textile designer you hit limitations all the time, for example, when it is impossible for technical reasons to realise your ideas the way you want to have them. But to me, limitations are not necessarily negative. They guide you and provide a framework inside which you are looking for the optimum. Over time you learn what works and what doesn’t.
From the start I wanted the collection that would cite the textile tradition while positioning itself with utmost self-confidence in the here and now. In that respect we succeeded. Sure, at the start you were also keen on other ideas but weren’t able to realise them—but we are getting the boldness, the freshness across, and that was important to me.
When the fabrics are well received by the market and sell. But that comes right at the end, when I am already embroiled in my next project. When, during the development process, I feel that we are doing something that is consistent, that works, then that is a compliment of equal importance to me.
THE BIG CHALLENGE OF FABRIC CREATION IS HAVING A CLEAR GOAL IN MIND WHILE TAKING CREATIVE LIBERTIES TIME AND AGAIN.
Sibylle Aeberhard has been creative for Création Baumann since 2004. The textile designer cut her cloth early: As a child, she already sewed clothes for her dolls and for herself. Since fashion is too short-lived in her opinion, she was thrilled more and more by the basic textile element. What Sibylle Aeberhard—who graduated from the Zurich textile specialist class and was influenced by her mentor, Bärbel Birkelbach—likes about her job is the mix of handicraft, creative design and technical know-how.
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