Faith and Fabric: Luum Textiles’ Suzanne Tick and her meditative way to design

In the world of Suzanne Tick and Luum Textiles, there exists two extremely important phenomena – Faith and Fabric. As we spoke to her about all things design, meditation and weaving, what came to light was a wondrous interlinked relationship between it all…

Luum Textiles, by Suzanne Tick, has become one of the most sought-after names in fabrics in the interior design world. From the asymmetry of the patterns and designs to the sheer availability of hues to the top-notch quality of the weave, fabrics from Luum Textiles almost always warrant a second look. Helming it all is – Suzanne, her passion for fabric and her faith in a twice-a-day, 20-minute-per-session Vedic meditation technique. A conversation with her revealed how her affiliation with spirituality is reflected in all the roles she plays in life – as a leader, a mentor, and an artist.

Now the founder and director of Fifth Floor Meditation, Suzanne clearly has found her pace and peace around the usually hectic life of designers and has a new approach to creative intelligence to share with the world. Keep reading for a peek into how she aces it while remaining zen…..

Meditation at Luum Textiles: The secret to team building and predicting trends ahead in the game

“Meditation, when I came back from India, became a part of our design process. We (the team at Tick Studio) use a mantra-based meditation technique together every afternoon to avoid accumulating stress. This is how we imbue meditation into our practice – not only in the individual products we design – but also in how we process, communicate and react as a group”, reveals Suzanne.

She continues, “Meditation relieves your nervous system of unnecessary stress, which opens up the frontal lobes of the brain, allowing you to see and think more clearly. What I’ve seen in our practice is that we’re able to diagnose trends before they happen – we start feeling and sensing new directions in the making and recognize concepts as time unfolds.” 

Currently, the team is working on products that will be revealed in 2024, and the ones they recently launched were in the works two years ago, yet all the concepts remain relevant and ideal for the timelines.

Suzanne elaborates, “In our methodology of coming up with what we think will be relevant for the future, we all come together and try to figure out what the marketplace needs and what our collection should be. We do a lot of reviews of what’s happening around the world to see where there are similarities, and what artists are talking about – our individual conclusions help reach what excites all of us collectively. When we start seeing parallels between what’s happening, we start recognizing themes that we should be thinking about. Recognizing what we bring to the table also allows us to communicate much more clearly. Having good communication in our studio and with our clients even allows us to sometimes step back during product development, catch ourselves going off, realign our focus and reconfigure the processes.”

Most recently, the team caught a whole lot of space inventions and inspirations around the world and consequently worked with that theme. Eventually, the Luum Textiles Fabric of Space collection was launched simultaneously, and co-incidentally, with NASA’s space shuttle findings. 

“In the Vedic worldview, we talk about quantum mechanics, and there are a few textile terms used to describe the nature of the cosmos, like the fringes of the universe, the fabric of space and so on. Einstein was the one that invented the concept of quantum mechanics, which is something happening in one place is also happening in another place at the same time. So paying attention to how nature is organizing life for all of us, and just making sure that we’re in step with nature, called “present-day awareness” – always thinking about what are the causes keeps us a few steps ahead”, says Suzanne.

Meditation, Product Designing and Weaving

Weaving remains at the core of the brand’s success, which is an art and skill in itself – it forms the heart of what happens at Luum Textiles, and so does product design, which, albeit more cognitive, also requires an essentially creative mindset.

“Weaving is a meditative practice by itself. It requires some concentration and the ability to stay focused. In the Vedic tradition, meditation isn’t a concentration practice; it is one of letting go. We’re not trying to concentrate; we’re just trying to allow ourselves to get deeper and deeper, transcend basically who we are, where we are, and go into our true state of being – and it happens in sequential order. When you compare that to what we do as product designers, there’s a definite sequential order there too. And when you’re both – a meditator and product designer – you become much more refined in the way you develop products, you start recognizing earlier. If there’s something that looks like it’s not quite right, you start fixing that earlier than you normally would – we’re quicker at the development process because we’re clear, our mind is clear.

In the same way, in dressing a loom, there is an order with your selections, the yarn you have to wind, the warp and the weft. Then you have to thread it into the loom individually in sequential order – it’s really hard and chaotic if you’re not in a quiet state. As a meditator, it’s easier to untangle things if need be”, Suzanne enlightens.

One with Nature, One with Sustainability

When Suzanne emphasized being one with nature, she did not mean just practising meditation or predicting trends but also respecting the environment through thoughtful final outputs.  

“One of the big things that we think about is our sustainability. Each decision that we make within our collections at Luum Textiles has to do with the lightening of our footprint to the point that we don’t launch that many products, but what we launch is essential to the Luum Textiles brand or has biodegradability or recycled content as a part of the story. Everything that we do is from the lens of being a good steward to Earth and our environment because what is happening here is also happening out there”, she says with a humble smile. 

The Home of Luum Textiles – The Tick Studio

“As Tick Studio, we’re the creative directors for Luum Textiles, and our studio is in the East Village of New York City, and I actually live there. When you walk in, you expect an apartment building, but the first floor is the design studio, where we have about a thousand fabrics pinned up – so you’re immediately involved in seeing colour. All my associates are sitting there, and they’re on their computers, either creating their pattern development or working on process development or marketing and much more”, begins Suzanne.

The lower level of the building is the dobby loom, where the products are sampled and developed. It’s a key area because the materials are created from the fibre to the fabric development here. From the first to the second floor, there’s a transition from public to private space, bolstered by a neon work hanging along the wall on the staircase. On the second floor is a more public zone which doubles as Suzanne’s living and dining room and the organization’s video conference room. “It’s where we come to meditate, so it has a plush rug and a puja table. I also have a small kitchen there. And so we do a lot of lunches with our team, ” she mentions. The top floor houses Suzanne’s private room for commissioned weaving and her bedrooms. 

“It’s definitely a work-live experience,” she confirms heartily.

A Mission for Suzanne and a Mission for Luum Textiles

Suzanne believes it is vital that we do everything intentionally and pay attention to where our energy will flow, which explains her pull towards meditation and her clear missions for herself and for Luum Textiles.

“What’s important to me, now, in my career is that I am more of a teacher and a mentor. Whether it’s teaching meditation or mentoring my staff on how to think about the design process or how to instinctively understand the right decisions with our mill partners, or it’s weaving – work feels like play in my life. I feel like I have a mission in teaching. As we reach a certain age, it’s imperative to share knowledge. That’s what I love about the Vedic meditation practice, too,” she shares.

On the other hand, with Luum Textiles, she mentions, “We have a story to tell that each fabric individually has a life span. It gives architects and designers the ability to understand the colour direction and palette or the reason behind the fabric to share with their clients and have a clear mission of why they selected that fabric for that particular project that they’re working on. That’s our mission – to be able to clearly define the individual needs of each product and the purpose for it at this time in the industry”, finishes Suzanne.

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Date added:

31 January, 2023


5 Products

Fabric of Space


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