As a British-Mongolian business owner, with a huge love for pop culture, London-based designer Sara says that her vision has always been “to provide a brand and a service that is welcoming and celebrates different cultures and identities”. Driven by her working class background, and a want to provide small brands and artists with access to custom, luxury and flexible services — “which aren’t currently found in the predominantly white-owned, middle-class embroidery industry” — Sara founded Sarangua Embroidery.
Officially launched in August of 2020, Sara had spent six years working in the design industry and seven years at school before Sarangua was born. Originally, she had been expanding on the idea of Sarangua to provide creative embroidery and merchandise for two years, but Covid hit, and the machinery was packed up and ready to be sold. “During the first lockdown I was head of embroidery at Hand & Lock in London, and it was essential I was working from home,” Sara explains. “I set my machine up next to my bed, and passionately spent all my free time creating custom pieces for friends and posting them on social media.
“My embroidered art pieces around the Nike tick started to get popular and my online sales gave me confidence in my brand again. After months of juggling my full-time job and my own brand, I quit my job and got an office to focus on Sarangua full time. Since then I have doubled my space twice and installed additional machinery and equipment.”
Since its lockdown launch, Sarangua has grown organically and generated fans of its simplistic yet intricate take on embroidery, and Sara says it has been a “positive challenge keeping up with increasing demand”. Offering both custom pieces that include embroidered designs and chenille patches, Sarangua caught the eye of artists and brands looking for something unique.
Among Sarangua’s collaborative portfolio is work alongside London’s exclusive music venue Tape Club, where the studio designed custom uniforms for the staff, and designing a one-off piece for DJ Oblig to wear when he supported veteran MC D Double E. Sara has also worked with UK artist Jossy Mitsu, designing a bespoke vest jacket that integrated the DJ’s Tekken-inspired DJ name and Birmingham roots.
Elsewhere, Sarangua have worked with North London’s CASisDEAD, creating Deadteam merch for women and limited-edition bomber jackets which fans could add customised patches to. “It made each piece personalised and unique,” Sara says, “which is an experience not a lot of artists provide for their fanbase.”
The Sarangua designs themselves are pulled from Sara’s life experiences and interests. “I have a variety of tools and conceptualize ideas using different forms of media and colours, which allows the designs to develop spontaneously,” she says. “On top of being a textiles artist, I also design and paint, and am always eager to learn and adapt new forms of artistic expression. I see how my followers react to my ideas and finalise products from there. I find being surrounded by creative friends in different industries motivating.
“When working with artists, I ensure I understand their brand identity and future vision,” she continues, “and provide them room to change or experiment with ideas presented to me. While guiding them through the best production methods and options.”
After recently moving into a new studio, Sarangua is continuing on its path to be unique and independent, while off-setting its production process. The made-to-order model offered by the brand means waste and stockpiling is minimal, and any excess materials and fabrics are reused and recycled wherever possible.
“We’re also sourcing vegan and fairtrade garments on demand from our UK suppliers,” Sara explains, “and have encouraged our customers to repurpose their second-hand garments by adding customisation to bring them to life. We are constantly working to build a brand that delivers a synergetic experience in textiles and merchandise.”