December 06, 2018 2 min read

The Square by åäö

The Square is the symbol of our relentless attention to detail, that we will never compromise. This is the story how it came to life.

It all started with a few lines on a whiteboard. ”What is it? I have no idea, but I really like it. Should we print it? No, no, no! We want it stitched!” And that’s when we started sewing by hand, tons and tons of squares.

We wanted a hand-stitched look. Normal sewing machines use an upper and a lower thread. The needle passes up and down, picking up the lower thread and performing a continuous stitch, a line. But it didn’t look cool. We wanted gaps in between the stitches. So we bought a commercial sewing machine. It managed a seam with gaps on the front, and a chain stitch on the back. No good. We needed saddle stitch. And we found a machine in the Czech Republic. It cost 20 times as much as the first machine. Well… we really really wanted those nice stitches.

The Square by åäö, first version

The suspense was enormous. We all stood around the machine to watch the first square being sewn. Ingrid stepped on the pedal and BOOM the machine performed lots of perfect stitches with perfect gaps in between. Magic!

The square is sewn with four lines with 90 degrees turns, each line consisting of 7 stitches. It’s a piece of handicraft where the machine is the tool. The thread is fastened on the needle. The needle shoots through the textile and is caught on the back, the needle then shoots back up again and is caught on the front of the textile.

The Square by åäö is stitched with a special machine

After a year of struggling, with hundreds of tests and two machines later – The Square existed for real! But after a few washes we noted that the square started looking fuzzy. Not nice. Borås found the solution, “monofilament thread”, one super-long fibre.

We made The Square yellow, like the yellow of the Swedish flag. Finally we had the perfect square. Happiness!

We then needed a canvas. The first was The Pants. Now, we’ve stitched it on The Beanie.

The Square by åäö as seen on The Beanie