A good seam gives the eye a direction in which to look, guiding it to the valuable details. And it does this without being obtrusive. The color of the thread is usually related to the color of the material. But sometimes, the thread can also provide contrast, for example a light thread in dark saddle leather. The length of the stitches should be well balanced – it is often ideal for holes to be four millimeters apart. Finding the optimum is a developmental process, at the end of which I have the perfect seam in front of me, bearing witness to excellence in craftsmanship.
In the development department, Julia Schroeder plans how the seamstresses will later assemble the pieces
I have high standards in my work. When we develop a new sofa, I try out various decorative seams – folded seams, fell seams – using different needles, hole distances, threads. I get quite uneasy if the seam doesn’t get put in the right place – you can feel the imperfection. I’m fascinated by getting the right seam in the right place.
Which seam works with which material? Where should the lines run in a piece of furniture? Questions that are resolved in a long development process at Walter Knoll
When I develop a sewing plan, I think myself into the cover. The skin of the sofa is there in my mind’s eye. Which seam do I start with, and which parts do I assemble in which order? If I make a mistake, our seamstresses are landed with a heavy burden – a leather cover weighs eight or nine kilos. When I run my fingers over the seam, I can feel whether the tension is right. A good seam in warm, soft leather should feel like coming home. Like an embrace. Like a promise that the seam is going to last.