Sandy Chilewich has been the creative mind behind the vinyl tabletop industry she popularized with her eponymous line in 2000. She has said that she always had a passion for repurposing manufacturing processes and finding new applications for materials that have been underutilized. Most recently she saw an experimental fabric being manufactured at the weaving mill that she works closely with in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They had created a two-layered fabric construction out of woven vinyl mesh that they were considering for industrial window screening, which is a large part of their manufacturing operation. Intrigued with this material that was still in development, Chilewich had the mill produce a small run for her in white instead of the black and took it back to her studio in New York to experiment with it. She “was immediately inspired by the design potential of these edge-to-edge pockets along the five-foot width of the material. These were pockets which needed to be filled!” The material that ultimately stood out were strips of florescent pink and orange acrylic which she slipped into the pockets in a sequence of different widths. The luminous effect of encasing florescent acrylic in white mesh transformed the industrial textile into a glowing tabletop runner.
- Prototype for a Table Runner, 2014, USA, designed by Sandy Chilewich (American, b. 1951), vinyl and acrylic double cloth, Gift of Sandy Chilewich, 2015-22-1.