Images and Video Courtesy of Sunny Todd
Of all your possessions and all your linens, it’s your bedding that knows you the most intimately. So why not curl yourself into a bedding made with the most personal care possible. Sunny Todd Prints creates the original versions of their textiles by hand at every level of the design process before they’re sent off to be produced as bedding. Leaving the computer out of it, they make their bedding entirely by hand, silk screening it themselves and even avoiding digital design techniques in the creation of the silk screens.
They chose bedding as the best textile destination for their designs in part because they think the large canvas best suits their designs. It’s a choice they made in conjunction with collaborators ZigZagZurich, this Swiss company that is finding new ways to get a fresh design into your home.
We sent questions over to Sunny Todd Prints English headquarters, and Sunny got back to us with the illuminating answers below. And, for the immediate Sunny Todd experience, take a look at the video they shared with us of the masters at work.
I loved seeing your production process. How much of the process did you learn in school and how much did you develop over time?
I first fell in love with screen printing whilst completing my Foundation degree and then focused on this process through both my first and Masters degrees in printed textiles at the Royal College. We really love the traditional aspect of hand cutting or drawing the shapes, exposing them onto a screen and then seeing how they work as prints. By experimenting, layering different colour and patterns you can create unexpected and magical patterns that could never be authentically created by using digital design techniques. Our aesthetic has changed and developed over time but I still enjoy silk screen printing as much as I did when I first discovered the technique 20 years ago!
To get a little more specific, am I understanding it right that you eschew the traditional silkscreening approach in favor of cutting shapes by hand? Can you tell us a little more about that and what sort of special results you can achieve through the process?
We do cut the shapes ourselves and then expose them onto screen and print in the traditional way.
I see that you work of out England. How did you become involved with the Swiss company ZigZagZurich
We saw a magazine piece on the ZigZagZurich collaboration with Coop DPS and absolutely loved it! We went straight onto their website and we were so impressed with their collections and also the way that they work with and champion both emerging and established artists and designers. We emailed Michele and Adam and were soon invited to meet Michele on his next visit to the UK. It was such an exciting meeting; Michele loved our designs and the way that we work and challenged us to come up with a collection of hand printed samples that we could then turn into blankets and bedding. The whole collaboration process has been so creatively rewarding, from the initial design process in our studio to selecting the yarns and materials to see the collection emerge and finally seeing it styled so beautifully for the launch photographs!
By experimenting, layering different colour and patterns you can create unexpected and magical patterns that could never be authentically created by using digital design techniques.
Is it a challenge to juggle married life and working life?
It can be challenging to balance married life with our company, especially as we have two small children and teaching commitments too, but we both absolutely love design and so we try to look at our business as a rewarding hobby rather than work!
How did you come to focus you fabric design on bedding in particular?
We have always wanted to see our patterns as bedding and blankets as they work so well on larger areas of fabric so the repeat can really be appreciated and we really love seeing our prints used and enjoyed. Michele and Adam were kind enough to send us all of the samples from the collection and we have so enjoyed using the collection in our own home- the pieces are so stylish, made to the highest quality but super fun too!