February 9 - May 23, 2013
With this exhibition, the Textielmuseum reflects the growing recognition in the design world for traditions, regional history and craftsmanship. Young designers were invited to develop a number of products using the museum collection as a source of inspiration. The TextielLab offered full use of its
resources. The exhibition shows how delving into the past can lead to new designs.
For Turkish red & more, the designers browsed through the binding manuals of the Tilburg Textielschool. They rediscovered traditional knot-tying and macramé techniques, deciphered embroidery stitches and became fascinated with natural dyes from the madder plant.
However, the designers did not adopt the old techniques and traditions without adding their own twist. With a critical attitude and a sense of irony they comment on the history either directly or indirectly, break through conventions and focus on the story that they want to tell. Others are primarily led by the beauty of the antique textiles and the loving care with which they were made.
Fashion designer and illustrator Merel Boers (1981) designed ornamentation that was stitched onto water-soluble material using a high-tech embroidery machine. Decorative flowers and plants, based on the imagery of Art Nouveau, can be found in the resulting highly delicate outfits and breezy room
Lenneke Langenhuijsen (1987) focused on developing her own super soft cotton thread, inspired by techniques from Mali. The newly developed threads were woven into blankets in the TextielLab. Such thick thread had never been used in the loom before and thus made maximal use of the machinery’s potential. Langenhuijsen’s patterns refer to the famous woollen AaBe blankets made in Tilburg.
The relationship between the traditional and the avant-garde is an ongoing fascination for Eindhovenbased designers Boaz Cohen (1978) and Sayaka Yamamoto (1984), who together operate under the name BCXSY. The traditional, richly laid dinner table and the festive feeling that it evokes, is the starting point for their ‘New perspectives’ project. Motifs such as artichokes, fish and shellfish, originating from the abundant spreads depicted in 17th-century still lifes, were embroidered onto pristine white table linen. Not by hand, but with a computer-controlled embroidery machine.
Forming the basis for the project ‘Turkish red’ by Studio Formafantasma, are the research and recipes of Felix Driessen. Felix’s study about ‘Turkish red’ (1902) describes the bright colour of the dye, one of the most researched and popular pigments in history, gained from the roots of the madder plant. The Italian-born duo Simone Farresin (1980) en Andrea Trimarchi (1983) are the designers behind Studio Formafantasma. Together with a German colourist, they developed a collection of silk fabric revealing the legacy of Felix Driessen, while also placing the importance of Turkish red in a global perspective.
Rotterdam-based design studio Minale Maeda, run by Mario Minale (1973) and Kuniko Maeda (1976), started off by focusing on designed textiles from the museum collection; from the figurative to the abstract. These designers are fascinated by the narrative element that textiles have. In their ‘Zoetrope
Bench’, they refer to an early animation technique, the zoetrope. This machine was used in the early days of film to bring movement to still images. The designers applied this technique to fabric in a range of patterns based on those found in the museum collection. The new fabric was used to upholster a
round couch. When the couch rotates, the patterns start to ‘move’. In this way, Minale Maeda proves that even in the digital era, narrative elements in textiles are still relevant.