December 09, 2013

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE 

Suzanne Tick
Creative director of Teknion Textiles and design director at Tandus Centiva

I started as a pattern designer in 1982, hand-drawing patterns on point paper. By 1984, I was made design director and stayed on until 1986. I remember I had been working on a pattern called Summer Storm and it had been pulled off my desk, and I was pissed because I’d worked on it for about six months. There was no discussion. Mr. Kroll—he’d come in every day and say, “Good morning, ladies, how’s everyone?”—sensed there was something wrong, and asked me about it. I asked him, “Where did that pattern I made go?” He asked me, “What do you want to do?” I said, “I want to follow the process.” Mr. Kroll then disappeared and Lisa, his daughter, asked me to go into his office. I thought I was going to get fired. He asked me if I wanted to be his weaver. Within a year I became his assistant, which meant that I got to go to mill every Tuesday with him. There I learned the whole process of constructing a textile: fiber selection, costing, yarn twisting, dyeing, warping, jacquard-design structures, dobby constructions.

Mr. Kroll—he was a very formal man, always wore a bow tie—would schedule a meeting and ask for all the coordinates on the developments of new products: what the weave structures were, exact fiber content, width, pattern, diameters, testing approval numbers. If you couldn’t answer all the questions—you had to know the answer for every single solitary thing—you’d have to wait another week to get on his roster. It was amazing, but it was hard. If I hadn’t worked through that kind of technical rigor I wouldn’t have the business I do today. I still work the same way. I learned everything about the construction process from fiber to finish. This was his joy of living and teaching. It was a kind of textile boot camp. To create well-constructed quality products that would stand the test of time was his mantra. He would always say: “Never make a weave structure with single warp floats.” There always had to be two ends over. If he found a weave with a single end over, you’d have to rework the pattern.

 - Suzanne Tick
 - Suzanne Tick
 - Suzanne Tick