I talked to designETC in connection with the Chroma exhibition in Kerteminde. In addition to my work, the Chroma exhibition shows installations by Karen Pontoppidan, Lea Mi Engholm and Iben Høj. We all four have a special connection to the city of Kerteminde - either through upbringing, education or settlement. Read the interview here. Read the designETC review of the Chroma exhibition here. (Both in danish)
Photo: Dorte Krogh
Today you will find a limited edition of my napkins in the Monocle online store. The napkins are the outcome of my collaboration with the world renowned media brand Monocle. The combination of design, size and graphic is made exclusively for Monocle. We met in September in Paris and decided to start a collaboration of a linen textile limited for Monocle. Together we have created
KARIN CARLANDER X MONOCLE
TEXTILE No. 11
that is a special size and unique selection of my designs in the Textile No. collection. It has been very inspiring to work with the Monocle design team that from the very first communication precisely knew in what direction we should work. First we decided the size then we went on with the special selection among my existing designs and when these decisions were made we created the graphic design exclusively made for Monocle. The result can be seen in Monocle March issue.
Monocle is a global affairs and lifestyle media brand and in my opinion one of today’s most influential medias. In addition to being a magazine Monocle also has stores around the world and an online store with curated design products. Monocle describes that they “sell products that cater to our readers’ tastes and are produced by brands we believe in.” I feel proud that my textiles have been noticed by the people behind Monocle and I am grateful that they believe in my design identity.
My latest collaboration is with fringe, Paris a newly opened café situated in the Marais. At fringe Textile No. is an integrated part of the interior, with No. 9 - napkins on the tables and No. 4 - Tea Towels in the kitchen. Furthermore I have designed breadbaskets and aprons exclusively for fringe. The owner, Jeff Hargrove, is an exquisite and internationally known photographer with a love for great coffee. His passions come together perfectly at fringe, a coffee bar and photography space that serves single origin specialty coffee, tea and chocolat with simple healthy food. Besides food and coffee they also offer a selection of photography books and magazines.The people at fringe focus on craftsmanship in everything they do and I am proud that my textiles are used at the café.
Danish Week at fringe: To celebrate the collaboration, Jeff Hargrove has invited me to exhibit my Textile No. collection at the café during Paris Design Week. From september 2-9 fringe will be focused on danish design and food. Throughout the week they will serve Danish food made with Danish ingredients. The 3. of september at 15.00, we will throw an opening party and you are all invited for coffee and danish cake. The first 15 visitors will get a napkin No. 9 as a gift. During the week I will be at the café showing my collection and I could not think of a better place to exhibit. At fringe my linen textiles can be experienced in its natural environment as a functional and aesthetic kitchen tool. The perfect showroom for Textile No.
If you would like to arrange a meeting please write me at email@example.com or just come by the café from 2-9 September between 8:30-17:30 at 106, rue de Turenne 75003 Paris. If you do not manage to come within the opening hours we can be open later on request. Facebook event here.
Photo: Jeff Hargrove
TEXTILE NO. AT 108, NOMA'S LITTLE SISTER.
In June 2015 I received an unexpected email from restaurant Noma about a meeting to present my textiles and discuss a possible collaboration. They had seen them in one of the shops in Copenhagen that carries my textiles and had become interested in my collection.
We had our first meeting on a hot summer’s day on the pier behind the restaurant. The catering consisted in cold water served from a plastic box that was placed on the table. Upon request I brought my whole collection of tea towels, napkins, pot holders, placemats and bath towels and carried my other things, telephone, notebook etc. in a tote bag sewn of one of my sample weavings. First we were looking at the different models and sizes of my collection. We were discussing the hand-crocheted pot holders which they really liked, the placemats and even my tote bag. One of the chefs put the handles of it around his neck, carried the bag hanging at his breast and looked at it as a possible apron called front-piece in this professional context.
After discussing different items they chose the napkin No. 9 as the first thing to work with. The napkin has the size 50 x 25 cm which is an unusual size for a napkin. They asked me: Why this size? l told the size consists of two squares that become one square when you fold it. They liked that idea and started to work with the napkin. They placed it on their legs as you do while eating and found the size width enough to cover a man’s legs and the length long enough to do the same. The napkin covers the body sufficiently and the size minimises the fabric consumption which they found appealing. They wet the napkin, put it in an oven and heated up to 90 degrees celsius to see how it would feel as a warm, wet napkin, given as the first thing you encounter when you are a guest at the restaurant. As my napkin No. 9 passed these brainstorming tests, we then had to decide the fabric design and the colour of the napkin. The fabric design YinYang was chosen, then the colour had to be decided. I had brought a sample weaving of a new colour which I named Lichen at the meeting. The colour is inspired by the grey/green lichen growing on trees and rocks and is a colour I have dyed and woven with since my very first weavings when graduating the Design School. It is an obvious colour choice for a restaurant working with ingredients from the Nordic nature. We decided the colour to be exclusively made for them at this size in the YinYang design and I was asked to deliver napkins for the then top-secret new restaurant in the Noma family, 108, which was due to open as a pop-up in January 2016. This was to be the first step in a long, challenging and exciting journey.
During the coming months, the kitchen chef was very interested in obtaining knowledge about linen as a fibre. The facts that linen yarn is a fermented material and that it is the only plant-based textile fibre that originates in Europe especially interested him. They also served a delicious linen pie at the pop-up restaurant.
To fulfil the goal of delivering linen napkins to 108, I had to solve one big challenge. Linen is a natural material with many exceptional qualities, but the fibres break if they are exposed to high heat combined with movement when dry. This means that linen cannot be tumble-dried. I found a laundry in Copenhagen that was willing to engage in a collaboration to find the right laundry procedure. They subjected my linen napkins to heavy-handed testing. The napkins were smeared in red wine, oil and lipstick, spun, lightly tumble-dried and rolled, over and over again. And they passed all the tests.
A few weeks ago 108 opened permanently in a warehouse next to Noma with my lichen coloured napkins in pure linen on the tables.
photo: Jeff Hargrove and Karin Carlander
In March 2016, TEXTILE NO. became a certified member of Masters of Linen an exclusive club, headquartered in Paris, consisting of 28 textile companies, spinners, weavers and knitters, who guarantee 100% European traceability in their textiles, from plant to yarn to fabric. For the spinning mills, this implies a guarantee that they use at least 98% scutched linen fibre grown in Europe and dew-retted on the ground in the growing area.
From 2016, my weaving will be based exclusively on linen from a certified Masters of Linen spinning mill in Italy. The mill was founded in 1873 and is one of the oldest in Europe. The yarn is spun of scutched linen fibres grown in the north-west of France, since flax from this area is generally recognised as being of exceptional quality. They also dye my yarns using a special technique that can be laundered at up to 60 degrees Celsius, and which meets the requirements for industrial laundry, for example when my textiles are used in restaurants.
photo: Jeff Hargrove
The Nomad bag is TEXTILE NO.´s contribution to the MA! Design is HumanLimited Edition Collection. The Nomad bag is a huge linen bag like a nomad’s bundle, a simple tool for carrying things when you’re on the move. The bag is a limited edition of 20 that makes them that much more special.
Simple, logical and beautiful. The bag is shaped by the things it carried, and the function brings life to the textile and determines the expression.
The bag is sewn of a length of linen held together in the sides. It has a long shoulder strap that runs through the length of the bag and an internal pocket to help us locate our small and important modern devices, like our cell phone, keys and purse, without getting lost in the large textile space.
photo: Ole Akhøj
I was fortunate to be invited to participate in MA! Design is Human international Design Expo in Atlanta on the 8th.-10th. of June. The idea behind MA (Modern Atlanta) is to bring international design to USA and create a week filled with exhibitions, tours and talks in an open dialogue with designers, producers and consumers. The aim is to create a network around creative knowledge and the industry, discussing how to improve design in a sustainable way. We as designers have a great responsibility in making sustainable choices and therefore I was invited to talk about my thoughts on this issue. I also exhibited my textiles at the MIDExpo alongside brands like Knoll, Bulbul watches, BAUX and Biomega.
photo: Karin Carlander