No More Twist is a three-strong team made up of Michèle Populer, Anne de Prémare and Marie Beguin. The cushions and throws they design are invitations to take time out, to stop and admire the dazzling colours, to examine the precise detail of the intersecting threads, to reach out and touch the covers to unravel their mysteries. Time is a precious concept that the 3 designers weave into their work. As they say, a stitch in time… . Marie and Anne talk about their work with passion, gentleness and delicacy, the way we speak about those we love.
How did No More Twist come about?
We met during our studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. In 2010, we bought a loom and began to create fabrics that we would sell in trade fairs. Then, we started to make our own products. We wanted to sell our fabrics in the form of fairly simple articles. We completed our first collection of cushions in September 2013. We took our time to research, feel our way and to lay the solid foundations of the project.
What are these foundations?
Making a project that is viable isn’t an easy feat. We had to find partners and define what we could offer. We opted for the "made in Belgium". We work with 95% wool and 5% silk. We were lucky to find a partner near Mouscron, all the thread that we use are made on site. The articles are manufactured in Liège, in a rehabilitation workshop. We’re very happy with their work.
All three of you have studied textile design. How do you divide the work?
At first glance, our partnership isn’t ideal because we have the same skills. We had to invent a balance. We do everything: creation, accounting, marketing, communication... When it comes to the creative part, we pool our inspirations and discuss what will go into each collection. Marie is the technician and quickly comes out with "I’d like the thread to do this or that," I’m more inspired by the fashion shows, the zeitgeist.
You say that weaving is a mathematical activity, sensual and mysterious…
Weaving is something very technical. Which thread do you show? Which thread do you hide? This is what will create the optical effect. We are often surprised by the result, and that is something we love. Weaving is a warp and a weft that intersect, there is a fixed verticality and horizontality. Software can simulate the result but there are plenty of things you can’t anticipate. We have fun creating movements with threads.
What are you working on at the moment?
The collection that we are presenting is inspired by museums and art galleries. Our influences are never completely conscious, but we like the work of superimposed lines, colourful fogs. For example, we admire the works of Sol LeWitt and Ann Veronica Janssens.
And your projects?
We like the idea of creating things that will last over time. We’d like to organise workshops for children and adults. The idea would be to customise clothes, reclaim them into even more beautiful things and continue to pass them on. We would also like to introduce others to the techniques of weaving. These workshops will take place in the showroom that we’re setting up on rue Saint Christophe in Brussels. We put together our projects gradually. The showroom should be available in the spring.
You will be taking part in Maison et Objet. Is it an important event for you?
This is an incredible showcase. We’ve been showing there for 3 years and we are gaining credibility. Most of our clients are people we have met there. They are Swiss, Corsicans, Germans. In fact, Germany is, for now, the country that is most receptive to our work. We also sell in a few shops in Brussels and Liege. And we have just launched online sales.
Finally, why did you choose to name your trio No More Twist?
It was inspired by a book by Beatrix Potter, an English illustrator of the early 20th century. Michèle grew up with it. In "The tailor of Gloucester" small mice help an old tailor who is too tired to finish his work. No More Twist is the little message that they leave when they have finished embroidering.