In 2016, culture360 invites you to get an insight on issues that are highly discussed in the cultural sector across Asia and Europe.
Through a number of in-depth articles and interviews, Magali An Berthon will focus on inspiring projects and personalities which make their mark as design and craft innovators and active cultural heritage supporters.
Located in the south of the Netherlands, the TextielMuseum of Tilburg is considered a top-edge institution dedicated to the art of textiles that implements an innovative cultural policy. This unique center connects its local textile heritage to the future of textile design. The TextielMuseum combines a museum, a design studio, and an in-house textile workshop, for the greatest delight of designers, artists, and graduate students from all over the world.
An institution fully dedicated to textiles in all its forms, the Textielmuseum of Tilburg is a place like no other. Located in the southern province of Noord-Brabant, in the Netherlands, the museum was originally founded in 1958 with the mission to highlight the local textile heritage. Surrounded by pasturelands as far as the eyes can see, Tilburg has been a prominent agrarian region and a major center of wool spinning and weaving from the late seventeenth century until the 1960s. The permanent exhibition called “The Woollen Blanket Factory 1900-1940” currently on view at the center revisits a part of the Dutch textile history. It shares the past of the building housing the museum, an 1860s’ former woolen factory, and offers an accurate illustration of Tilburg’s wool industry at the time. In addition, the Textielmuseum offers a full calendar of exhibitions on a variety of textile and design-related topics, such as contemporary Dutch designers and Pop Art fashion from Andy Warhol to Vivienne Westwood. The museum also owns a collection of 15.000 objects dating from the nineteenth century onwards.
Beyond its rich heritage, this institution is dedicated to showing the present and the future of the textile industry. The Textielmuseum is divided in two distinct departments: the museum and the workshop called “TextielLab,” which has opened in 2004. The center believes in the economic and creative potential of textiles. Practice is at the core of this hub of excellence which operates as a design studio and a modern in-house textile facility. The lab is a platform for all textile lovers—researchers, students, or designers, who wish to collaborate, discuss, conceptualize, and design textiles in collaboration with a talented team of expert technicians. The workshop owns an impressive range of top-edge machines including digital printers, digital jacquard looms, and industrial knitting machines. The TextielLab provides the opportunity to explore what technology has to offer, and experience the practice of six different textile techniques (weaving, knitting, embroidery, tufting, passementerie, and laser cutting). The studio welcomes selected students and supports an ambitious educational programme. International artists and designers such as Hella Jongerius and Studio Forma Fantasma have been invited on residencies to develop exclusive collaborations. Finally the lab offers the possibility for any designer to rent workshop spaces to use certain machines and produce their own collections.
Artists can let their imagination translate into the textile medium and play with the large range of materials and yarns available. Anything is possible: from intricate three-dimensional knits to jacquard-woven fabrics as detailed as a high-resolution hyper-realistic photograph. The TextielMuseum is an innovative platform, which benefits from a local network, the Design Academy of Eindhoven in particular. Since 2008, after a long renovation plan, the institution has increased its international reach, with the ambition to occupy a unique position in the European landscape of design and craft museums. Combining a museum, workshop, design center, and a school, this multi-faceted project succeeds in connecting art with design, and traditional craftsmanship with emerging practices. The TextielMuseum nurtures new vocations and contributes to advance the promising field of textile design, in constant liaison with the industry’s new technological developments.