Archiproducts, the international architecture and design platform, had the opportunity to spend time during Salone del Mobile 2019 in Milan chatting with Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, from the London-based studio Raw-Edges, about BACKSTITCH, the first collection they’ve designed for GAN.
BACKSTITCH turns the traditional rug concept upside-down (literally!) by focusing on the back of embroidery work. “We were looking at the back of rugs and all of the small details, and decided to create a collection based on these details,” explains Yael to Archiproducts.
Shay remembers his grandmother’s collection of Eastern European embroideries, and how he, as a boy, would entertain himself by observing how those little houses and romantic flower bouquets turned into stitches of random appearance on the reverse. “There was something nice about that randomness,” says Shay.
Yael talks about the play on perspective they have achieved with BACKSTITCH, using stitches of varying thicknesses and creating accents and details between the seams. These characteristics complete a collection which, due to its beauty and complexity, may be used as a rug or as a tapestry.
BACKSTITCH is a vindication of hidden beauty, something that is not usually seen and without which embroidery could not exist: the invisible and at the same time inevitable. Raw-Edges has developed the collection by trial and error: “As for the colors, it’s was all about testing different possibilities until we felt it was right,” says Shay.
The creators explain that the GAN team gave them total creative freedom and that they loved the idea of incorporating embroidery in order to work with GAN’s Women Unit, the community of women artisans from India with whom GAN collaborates in many of its collections. “We were motivated by the idea of working with them, so we opted for embroidery” says Shay.