Maharam: Flutter by Hella Jongerius
Maharam introduces Flutter, the latest addition to a series of textiles designed in collaboration with Hella Jongerius. Flutter continues the exploration of embroidery techniques and visual effects seen in Jongerius’s earlier works: Layers (2008) and Borders (2011). The continuous running stitch and hand-cut stratum of Layers and the loosely plotted archetypal motifs of Borders underscore the embroidery evolution of Flutter, in which single lines overlap and build to yield a sketch-like design.
Transformed by Jongeriuslab from a drawing to hand-sewn sample, Flutter captures the twisting and turning action observed in a study of cascading feathers. The shape and gesture of floating objects, along with their corresponding shadows and seeming ability to defy gravity, spurred the nuanced color mixing and changing density of the graphic. As inspiration, Jongerius references, “the tumbling leaves in autumn, the foam flakes from wild waves in the ocean, the falling fluff of the dandelion, and the feathers from my chicken.” She states, “The embroidery, which is done layers over layers, highlights this movement/dynamic.The colors mix optically: from a few lines that mix with the ground color to a dense surface when totally covered.”
Each strand of thread is placed strategically, either in the forefront or background, in varying concentrations to indicate motion. Using five colors apiece, the trapezoidal motifs are sewn at forty-five-degree angles and are then obliquely pivoted on their axes across a twenty-yard frame, generating an open but equally spaced repeat featuring sixteen differing motifs.
The woolen ground of Remix by Kvadrat offers a flat, modest canvas in four heathered tones. Its smooth surface and tightly woven structure offsets the detailed, kinetic embroidery. Jongerius’s analogous selection of neighboring hues highlights subtle transitions within the spectrum, producing a sense of transparent dimension amid stitches. Flutter’s concise palette blends shades of gray with a selection of citron, amber, pink, sage, lime, periwinkle, blue, brown, silver, and golden hues.
About Hella Jongerius
A graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, Hella Jongerius has been a standout in the world of product design since her early work for Droog, the Dutch design collective. She founded Jongeriuslab in Rotterdam in 1993 and moved to Berlin in 2008. Jongerius’s unique approach to craft from the perspective of industry, and her ability to combine these seemingly oppositional methods of production, has allowed her to create individuality on a mass scale. Her work ranges from one-offs and limited editions exhibited at galleries to consumer products available through companies like Vitra, Nymphenburg, Royal Tichelaar Makkum, and IKEA.
In 2012, she became the Art Director for Colors and Surfaces for the Vitra Collection and in 2013, she was appointed Design Director of Kvadrat and Maharam’s Amsterdam-based rug atelier.
Hella Jongerius and Maharam have been collaborating since 2001. Several of the resultant textiles are now in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; the Museum of Modern Art; the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen; and the Stedelijk Museum, among others. In 2017, Maharam proudly sponsored Breathing Colour, an exhibition examining Jongerius’s distinct approach to color and form through a series of vibrant installations at the Design Museum in London.