November 8, 2014

Knitting & Tea Towels

Exhibition COHESION at Design Perron

Stand Studio Simul at Klokgebouw

So many colourful things are filling my social media right now: Autumns bright oranges and fruits, last weekends Día de Muertos and catwalk delights from the Jakarta Fashionweek 2015* (please invite me next year!). A bright, patterned feast, which reminds me of every thing I still have to do before winter comes.
First our Dutch Design Week. Last years edition was great with the beautiful exhibition by Vlisco.** This year I decided to give it a bloggers-try, unfortunately I wasn't so lucky. So I paid my ticket and visited for the first time mostly the entrance required locations. How very Dutch of me!

Huge knitting backpack set by YoukbyYouki

Hand dyed and hand knitted towel by Winter in Holland

"Living Colours", oxidation proces on cloth in the presentation by AKV|St.Joost at Klokgebouw

Indigo Cascade by Ernst van der Hoeven, finalist habitat Dutch Design Awards

Knitted meat at the Dutch Design Awards

I prepared a this-is-what-I-want-to-visit plan on the DDW map and managed to do all, AND more! I started of at the Klokgebouw where I collected a lot of business cards. Looking back at the photos I noticed that it kinda had the same feel of what I saw last year**. A lot of dyeing fabrics with natural colouring, using oxidation processes which make for a laboratory-like display. And what do we make of these freshly, rusted fabrics: tea towels. To my surprise I run into a lot of stands with different samples of fabrics and mostly they made cushions and towels. Maybe because you can show the fabric as an usable product, yet keeping a nice square part. Anyway, I don't know if Dutch people have a design relationship with their dishes, but I think it is an interesting choice of product. And since Blokker director Jack Peters said in De Volkskrant last August, "We always had kitchen-textiles, but now we have Kitchen-fashion" explaining the new route the shop was taking, I shouldn't be surprised.

Dutch Darlings by Craft Council Nederland at Klokgebouw

Some "Dutch Darlings"

Voting system 

My favorite

Oven mitts

On my to see-visit plan was the Craft Council Nederland "Dutch Darlings" display. I never heard of this organization before, and I totally missed their "Meet the Master" Staphorst dot folk art workshop. Too bad, but now I'm totally on their mailinglist. What I also missed was their "Dutch Darlings" open call.
Dutch Darlings is an open call for creators, designers and professionals to design an innovative souvenir based on a traditional Dutch craft. Participants show, with their designs, that the Netherlands is more than tulips and windmills. That we have a much richer colour palette of local culture than a Delfts blue wooden clog that is manufactured in China for the tourist industry.***
A very interesting starting point and I was a little disappointed that it were so little products. Yet the display was excellent. A big workshop table with a wooden, bookshelf, open wall around it. Little cabinets with the new souvenirs, below it an abstract symbol of that souvenir on which you could vote and in the bookshelves some more souvenirs and interviews with the 'Masters'.
I placed a dot at the ball of yarn. I liked this locally made, handmade souvenir idea. Because you can make your own product from it afterwards. And because next to Kitchen-fashion (in the competition were also oven mitts, but I didn't find them Dutch enough), knitting is hot, hot, hot!

Yarn shop at Sectie C

Wintervacht wintercoats presentation at Sectie C

Wintervacht Curtain shirt in 2e Hans van Sophie Dekkers set-up

Pretty detail of curtain shirt

After a nice meet with Chris Houtzager of Textile is More****, I headed for Sectie C. I wanted to meet the makers of Wintervacht***** and I never been to that location before. The ladies of Wintervacht weren't their yet, so I first took a look around. Sectie C looks like a factory building that has been taking over by creativity. A lot of small companies, not all very Dutch Design, but better opened, than closed during such an event. Chris told me to check out the yarn shop to check out my theory. There they told me they made the knitted chair. A designer piece showed somewhere else unfortunately (my mother shared it on Facebook and in the same album is a photo of knitting women).
After a while one of the Wintervacht ladies arrived. They shared a space with 2e Hans van Sophie Dekkers. A secondhand clothing shop selected and arranged on colour, texture and patterns. It looked very chic. A lot of people were trying on the coats by Wintervacht and on Instagram it was a very DDW thing to do; post a selfie in a Wintervacht coat. I still didn't try one on, because I want one really bad, but I can't afford one. The mittens how ever...but they didn't bring them with...
I asked them if they could inform me of their upcoming Summer collection. Because I loved their curtain collection this year. They buy secondhand curtains and make a nice two piece, shirt & short pants, outfit from it. Very pattern-hip and recycle-proof!

Looking forward to what the young Wintervacht ladies are going to do next and lets see if I can become a proper DDW blogger next year!

* More about the Jakarta Fashionweek 2015 on their site
** Blogpost about "Vlisco Unfolded" and Dutch Design Week 2013 "Natural Dye + Wax Print + Sweaters"
*** Read more about the Craft Council NL and their Dutch Darlings on
- More about Staphorst dot folk art in my previous post "Traditional costumes in modern living
**** Textile is More is a new, fresh look on textiles all over the globe, put into a blog, on which I'm going to participate soon,
***** Post on my blog about Wintervacht "Transhumance"
More about Wintervacht on