Stephanie Seal Brown Is Weaving a New Tale

How the textile artist found her voice on the loom.

July 29, 2022

The Sawkille Co. furniture workshop in Rhinebeck, New York, proved a natural fit for Stephanie Seal Brown’s (pictured) new collection of epingles. “We both share a Shaker-inspired aesthetic, but not in a way that we’re re-creating historic pieces; we’re drawing from them.” Chairs, from left: Penn Chair, Rainbow Arm Chair, Rainbow Chair, Minna Chair and Fiddleback Chair, all by Sawkille Co., sawkille.com. Cushion fabrics, from left: Sparre Epingle, Berg Epingle, Struktur Epingle, all by Stephanie Seal Brown for Schumacher, fschumacher.com.

Francesco Lagnese

Growing up on a farm in Oklahoma, Stephanie Seal Brown was never without a project. “Every year, I’d try some new type of handwork—quilting, embroidery,” recalls Brown. For her 19th birthday, she received a Swedish hand loom; she quickly fell in love. “There’s something so earthy and rudimentary about plain woven cloth that reminds me of the way I connect with the world,” she says. “Even in its simplest form, there is so much depth. You see everything in it.”

Now an accomplished weaver based in New York’s Hudson Valley, Brown is known for her rustic-yet-refined handmade textiles and trims that blend nostalgia, utilitarianism and high design: A hand towel’s sunny hue was inspired by the Juicy Fruit gum Brown’s father always had on hand while working on the farm; a flaxen tape with stripes of salmon and ochre is named after artist Anni Albers.

Summer Yellow Expanded Herringbone Hand Towel by Stephanie Seal Brown, $160, stephaniesealbrown.com

Richard Gray
  • Richard Gray
  • Francesco Lagnese

For the past several years, Brown has collaborated with Schumacher on a collection of braids and tapes; recently, that partnership has expanded to include a selection of epingles— durable weaves comprised of tight cotton loops that create an almost needlepoint-like appearance. An antique book of opulent textiles from the Swedish Royal Armory provided inspiration: “The fabrics themselves were very over-the-top and ornate, but underneath, there were grid-like binding systems that created these unexpectedly beautiful patterns,” she says. “I love the push and pull of the posh with the practical.”

Calcada Rug by Stephanie Seal Brown, $2,320, stephaniesealbrown.com.

Richard Gray

Shop Stephanie’s Schumacher Collaboration