Continuing the exploration of embroidery that began with Layers in 2008, Maharam introduces Borders by Hella Jongerius. With Layers, Jongerius employed embroidery to bind two layers of wool felt as a base for windows of hand-cut pattern. Turning to another example of embroidery that is both decorative and functional, Borders stems from Jongerius’ interest in the traditional backstrap weaving of Guatemala and Mexico, in which the loom is tethered between the weaver’s body and a tree or post. Because backstrap weaving produces a narrow cloth, two or more pieces are often hand embroidered together using a heavy decorative stitch.
Borders is an industrial translation of this localized craft technique. The embroidered lines that traverse Borders’ surface are archetypal motifs culled from different genres, including a botanical, a dotted line, and pied de poule, forming an irregular grid of unique compositions.
Large open areas in the design called for a ground cloth with more surface interest than the plain felt used in Layers. Heathered yarns add texture throughout a dry, toothy wool canvas. The four wool colors—in natural, greige, charcoal, and walnut—provide a neutral base for the embroidered expression of Jongerius’ unique color sensibility, including combinations of nude and crimson, pale yellow with eggshell blue, marigold and turquoise, and tangerine with hazard orange.
Hella Jongerius and her early work for Droog, the Dutch design collaborative, have been standouts in the world of product design for close to two decades. Ancient craft technique and modern technology are manipulated by Jongerius to yield their ultimate potential. Just as material research is crucial to the world of avant-garde fashion, materials largely determine design direction at Jongeriuslab. The designs are typified by contextual twists, historical archetypes, and by transformations from old to new.
Jongerius’ work ranges from one-offs and limited editions exhibited at galleries to industrial products available to consumers, such as her work for Vitra, Nymphenburg, Tichelaar Makkum, and IKEA. A monograph from Phaidon Press, Hella Jongerius: Misfit, was published this year in concert with a major exhibition of the same name at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.
Both products previously designed by Jongerius in collaboration with Maharam, Repeat (2002) and Layers (2008), are part of the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.
New York-based Maharam offers a comprehensive collection for contract and residential applications. Maharam textiles are available to the trade and at select retail locations in North America, through its Danish partner Kvadrat in Europe, through Kvadrat Maharam in Sydney and Dubai, and via a network of distribution in Asia.
Borders by Hella Jongerius
Width: 53" (135cm)
Content: 98% Wool, 2% Polyester