Milan Design Week 2019 was a true experience for all senses; this year we spotted many presentations with light, sound and scent effects. We decided to explore touch, by focusing on the tactility of textiles, and more specifically handmade textiles. By zooming in on fabric, we found the single thread was a leading concept. That is why our handmade highlights of 2019 consist of textiles with fringes, self-edges, filaments, tassels, loops and rope.
A couple of years ago there was nothing more camp than floor to ceiling carpeting, and nothing more old-fashioned than a wall hanging. Times have changed: textiles and carpets are back in the interior. During Milan design week, we hugged walls clad in textiles, made an entrance through heavy curtains, stumbled on layers and layers of carpets and considered wall panels the next van Gogh.
Textiles have become a central concept in interior decoration, whereas before it was often seen as a final touch - a decorative styling element. We now see the return of heavy drapes and thick carpets. Textile wallpaper is back, as well as rugs and panels on the wall. Throws and blankets are also key items for the next seasons: to be casually displayed on the sofa or the bed, or to be worn. See our previous post on wrapping yourself in textiles.
In Milan we looked closely at textiles, and saw complex weaves and knots, and lots of loose yarn, self-edges and filaments. But most of all, attention is on the structure of textiles – the individual thread – whether it is woven, knotted or tied. Yarn is carefully compiled – many two tone twisted yarns, lots of metallic filaments and paper strips. Bold and bright colours are used for yarn, but because of the complexity of the weaves and structures, beautifully balanced colourways are created.
Bold colour statements are made using ikat dye techniques or intricate jacquard weaving. There is also much focus on how textiles are embellished, as featured in my post on Lidewij Edelkoort’s Folklore presentation. There is attention on finishes, by adding fringes, ribbons, tassels, knots and stitches. No wonder some of the most influential designers of this hour are textile and pattern designers, doing research into weaving and rug making.
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