Author: Matilda McQuaid

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Textile, Motus, 1970; Gaetano Pesce for Expansion; Screen printed cotton velvet; Gift of The Lake St. Louis Historical Society, 2001-30-1
Expansion
Gaetano Pesce was trained as an architect in Italy, but has also practiced in Paris and currently works in the United States. An extremely successful and influential designer, Pesce has established a reputation as an architect who is opposed to specialization. He has experimented, in his words, in “all fields of creative activity.” His multidisciplinary...
Textile, 2002-14-3, 1947
Campagna
Campagna, likely named after the designer Angelo Testa’s friend, Paul Campagna, epitomizes Testa’s design vocabulary. Designed in 1947 for Knoll Associates, Campagna utilizes Testa’s preferred linear and geometric forms, commonly associated with his Bauhaus training. The hard edges of the concentric rectangles in this textile, however, have been softened by their appearance of being almost...
Scarf, Reflecting Well, ca. 2003
Reflecting Well
Reflecting Well, by Junichi Arai, continues his life-long investigation into materials and textile techniques and the transformation of two-dimensional cloth into sculptural and vibrant surfaces. In this polyester and aluminum piece, Arai combines a melt-off technique, which dissolves the metallic thread leaving behind a transparent cloth, with shibori, a type of tie-dyeing technique that, in...
Panel, P.Kasuri No. 46, 2007
Colors within colors
Jun Tomita is a Japanese textile artist who has worked with the traditional dyeing technique of kasuri for over two decades, while adding his own rich and contemporary interpretation. Kasuri, the Japanese word for ikat (which is derived from the Malay-Indonesian word mengikat, meaning "to tie or to bind"), has been popular in Japan since...
Panel, Composition (DH/WD/SI 001), 2004
Raw Elegance
Claudy Jongstra is a contemporary textile designer who practices the ancient technique of felting. Jongstra’s fabrics have a raw elegance that comes from her use of materials such as wild silk, wild linen, and wild cashmere, as well as the special (and proprietary) techniques she has developed in her felting. Jongstra even goes so far...
yellow, white, brown, green plaid tabelcloth
A tablecloth for ‘easier living’
Russel Wright was one of the most important pioneers in American design, especially in his efforts to revolutionize how people live and relate to their domestic environment. As Donald Albrecht wrote in his 2001 exhibition Russel Wright: Creating American Lifestyle, Wright’s “inexpensive, mass produced dinnerware, furniture, appliances, and textiles were not only visually and technically...
BROWN CIRCLES IN PATTERN
Finesse
Color was a central element in all of Verner Panton’s designs for interiors and furniture, and in particular, textiles, which became his most important vehicle for color in the futurist environments for which he is best known. Born in Denmark, Panton lived and worked most of his life in Basel, Switzerland, where by the mid-1950s...
dark brown textile
Turbo
Jorge Lizarazo is the owner and founder of Hechizoo, a textile firm based in Colombia. Lizarazo originally worked as an architect, which has influenced his textiles in terms of structural clarity and use of materials. His designs also benefit from his staff, who bring with them an expertise in the rich weaving traditions of their...
Halter-style dress with a tie at the neck in tan, dark brown and dark blue. Looping is tighter in the mid-section to form a waistband. Deep flounce at the bottom. Pattern is geometric.
A continued tradition

This dress, woven by Lydia Novillo in a women’s cooperative in Formosa, Argentina, illustrates the continuation of an important South American textile tradition through a contemporary lens. The tradition stems from the weaving practices of the indigenous people of South America, the Wichi, who live primarily in Formosa, an isolated area in northern Argentina. Originally settling near the Bermejo and Pilcomayo Rivers, they were semi-nomadic, agricultural people who also relied on fishing during the dry season. For centuries they have used the fibers of the chaguar, from the bromeliad family, to weave fishing nets, bags, and other objects, which continue to sustain many of the communities today.

Off-white wool is woven in double cloth to form four tubes, all with an open weave structure. The fabric is fulled to give a felted appearance, and some of the tubes are hand-cut to create a series of intersecting panels.
Made in the USA

Felt Lace X-Change was designed by Paula Verbeek-Cowart in 2008, and was woven by Oriole Mill, founded by Bethanne Knudson and Stephan Michelson in Hendersonville, North Carolina in 2006. The mill offers custom woven and designed textiles, focusing on quality, rather than quantity and speed, in the production process. They are dedicated to making the finest jacquard and dobby fabrics from natural fibers and ultimately hope to lead a resurgence of small artisanal mills in this once vibrant textile-making area of the country. One of the outcomes of opening the mill has been the formation of Studio Structure by Knudson and Pauline Verbeek-Cowart. Felt Lace X-Change reflects the mission of the mill in its craftsmanship and experimentation with natural fibers and also demonstrates Verbeek-Cowart’s interest in exploring the ways in which wool can be transformed.