Maharam introduces Spindle and Washi, the latest woven textiles designed by Hella Jongerius in collaboration with the Maharam Design Studio. A continuation of Jongerius’s ongoing inquiry into the relationship between craft and industrial techniques, both textiles are based on tangible, handmade objects and enlist exacting constructions to achieve methodical repetitions of texture, pattern, and color.
Spindle’s design derives from Jongerius’s interest in process and weaving, which was also the subject of her 2021 exhibition Hella Jongerius: Woven Cosmos at Berlin’s Gropius Bau. Spindle interprets a series of elaborate ropes Jongerius originally made for the exhibition’s installation Cosmic Loom which represents the universal role of spinning and weaving in cultures worldwide.
The Maharam Design Studio worked closely with Jongerius to capture the handmade ropes’ irregular forms in meticulous detail and render them in ten repeating motifs through color and a variety of woven structures. Domestically woven on a jacquard loom, Spindle references Jongerius’s earlier explorations of embroidery techniques at industrial scale, as seen in the Layers series (2008), and the textiles Borders (2011) and Flutter (2018). Reflecting Jongerius’s unique color sensibility, hues of bright turquoise, bronze, indigo, and brushed orange are complemented by the nuance of heathered wool grounds.
Building on Jongerius’s earlier work with ceramic glaze, Washi transposes layers of translucent color to woven form. Jongerius’s own collages made from hand-cut colored film were the basis for the design. In translating the artwork to upholstery, the Maharam Design Studio embraced the challenge of creating a variety of tones with a limited selection of yarns. Using intricate blending techniques across both light and dark warps and iterative weft colors, Maharam was able to bring forth a multiplicity of values that add dimension. Highlighting Jongerius’s interest in tactility, irregular linen grounds—offered in three light and three dark colors—lend subtle texture in combination with lustrous motifs of earthy brown, copper, olive, iris, grass, and citrus.