3rd November 2014
Rugs and carpets were one of the over riding product choices during Dutch Design week (more to come on that in a separate post) but one particular rug has garnered a lot of attention is the Sea Me rug made from sea algae from designer Nienke Hoogvliet.
Wanting to draw attention to the contrast between the polluting plastic waste that humans are creating in the sea and the hidden beauty of the sea she hand knotted sea algae yarn with an old fishing net.
Sea algae grow much faster than cotton and could potentially provide a future more sustainable alternative.
The yarn is created using cellulose that is extracted from kelp seaweed and is harvested in South Africa. With similar properties to Viscose it has a naturally occurring organic aesthetic.
Hoogvliet dyed the yarn in varying shades of green that blend naturally into each other in keeping with the natural message that she is trying to get across about issues surrounding textile production and sustainability.
Joost van Bleiswijk
Joost van Bleiswijk
Kiki van Eijk
Kiki van Eijk
Kiki van Eijk
9th October 2014
With Dutch Design week on the horizon the worlds design gaze moves to Eindhoven. A project that will be unveiled during DDW is the latest collaboration with the Dutch Design royalty and rug company ICE international.
Commissioning 8 different carpets by individual designers from four "design couples" including Piet Hein Eek, Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk, each has brought their own personal design signatures to hand knotted wool and silk carpets.
Bringing together patterns and colours from folklore, Petra Janssen's rug is a Dutch version of the Persian rug, whilst Joost van Bleiswijk's graphical design appears as if a simple cream rug has been coloured in with charcoal yet on closer inspection plays with texture and weave constructions for the shadowing and pattern.
Kiki van Eijk took a similar rudimentary aesthetic and translated one of her watercolour paintings onto the rug. Believing that a rug is a piece of art on the floor she tried to capture the subtlety of the painting in textile.
24th September 2014
Celebrating a long forgotten and under appreciated plant, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Nina Gautier has explored the possibilities of the Urtica Dioica or better know Nettle plant as a renewable textile source as well as a natural dye.
Broken down into two parts, her project 'URTICA_lab:Sensing the source' seeks to connect us with the hidden attributes of the Nettle, whilst 'URTICA_Textile: Touching the raw' is a range of textiles made from nettle fibre exploring the different colours to be created from the different parts of the plant.
URTICA_Lab takes an alchemic approach to the plant and looks beyond the 'stinging nettle' view and shows the transformation of the nettle into different substances respecting its uses in food, medicine, textile and colour.
Celebrating the textures and colours of the nettle and reviving a material that has been used in clothing for over 2000 years but has been out of favour since it was last used by the German Army for uniforms during WW1 due to cotton shortages, Nina has designed a series of blankets, each focusing on the specific quality of the stinging nettle.
URTICA-raw applies the hand spun nettle yarn in its raw colour whilst enhancing the strength and durability of the fibre, URTICA shades is woven with various natural fibres and dyed from one dye bath revealing different tones and shades whilst URTICA spectrum showcases the entire colour range originating from the nettle plant.
More than simply sustainability this project similarly to that of Laura Daza looks to nature to learn lessons that have long been forgotten.
22nd April 2014
Being a weaver once upon a time I was really taken by this Loom Divide, but was even more delighted by it when I realised it was designed by my friends Ruben and Golnar at RiveRoshan.
Shown during Milan design week as part of the Form and Seek collective at Ventura Lambrate their Loom Divide is a room divider based on the tradition of hand loom weaving.
Utilising what would be the warp and weft, the screen is made up of threads held on tension that can be interchanged to create different levels of visibility and a beautiful colour interplay.
They have used English bakers twine which gives the screen a delicate moiré effect diffusing the visibility but not blocking light. The design also utilises the tension of the threads for its construction with no glue or screws being used and allowing for woven hinge constructions.
15th April 2014
Confirming her place as one of my favourite designers, Jetske Visser's work always surprises me with her simple yet thoughtful approach to design and colour.
Her latest project shown during Dutch Invertuals Happy Future explores how steam gave rise to an industrial revolution and the impact it had on the textile industry as it became a method by which to fix dye.
Working with TextielMuseum & TextielLab and Mirte Engelhard Jetske has explored an enchanting and delicate approach to pattern and design through fixing of her fabrics. What is particularly lovely about her fabric pieces and garments is the ephemeral patterns and shapes that are left as almost traces rather than pre determined pattern.