As part of her bachelor’s degree project at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Loes van Els wove elastic cables to make fashion accessories that can be worn over the clothes. The cables have a composite core made of rubber straps and yarn inside a polyester jacket. Van Els not only experimented with different cable cores, but she also tried weaving them in different sizes using three traditional weaving techniques. Her double-faced honeycomb weaves, for example, make for exceptional stability. Both the sheer quantity of material used and the double-faced weave make these garments suitable as urban sports “armour”. Since her products “add posture, strength, and protection for use during physical activities,” van Els would like to continue developing Strap in several different directions. “Such optimising pieces of garment should be something beautiful to be proud of,” she says.
On the Hinges of the Body
For her graduation project at the School of Arts of University College Ghent, Mathilde Vandenbussche concentrated on the technique of knitting and experimented with manual as well as industrial processes. She was able to use the machines of the Belgian firm Bekaert Deslee, for example, which specialises in knitted mattress textiles. On the visual level, Vandenbussche established a connection between elastic textile structures and the muscles of the human body: both are patterns of lines that change their appearance as they expand and contract. Elasticity and tension as well as the pulling, warping, and stretching of fabrics, are thus key elements in her collection, whose textiles are made of wool and elastic yarns.
Teresa Mendler combined strands of pliant silicone with textile strips to create handwoven textiles for her bachelor’s degree project at the Design Academy Eindhoven. While the silicone strands were cast, the strips of textile were obtained from large, patterned prints and cut into strips using a laser cutting machine. The patterns are based on the designer’s own collection of prints representing either specific cultures or individual modes of expression. After drawing parallels between her own material combinations and the ethnic diversity that is now a salient feature of all the world’s big cities, Mendler decided to name her project “Merging Cultures”. She sees the textiles that she develops as systems, all of whose parameters are in her power to change. “Imagine how exciting it would be to transfer this diversity of possibilities to a product,” she says, adding that she could imagine using the technique to develop sports shoes in the future.