Lenneke Langenhuijsen & Brecht Duij of Buro Belen, Amsterdam, find new utility in the use of tapa (wooden cloth), cottonmix (cotton plaster) & brushed & naturally dyed materials. See Blogroll for a link.

All text has been taken from the Buro Belen site /

Merging Wallpaper by AGA, Paintingplants.nl & buroBELÉN: ‘What happens to colours over time? Just like all other colours, vegetable colours undergo changes as a result of light and other external factors. This discoloration has been captured on the De-colourchart, which allows designers to use this process to their advantage and incorporate discoloration into their design. Wallpaper always has a repeating pattern… These three types of wallpaper break up the regularity through pattern and colour-use. As a result colours and patterns take over the wall and they will change over time.’ /

Fluffed: in collaboration with Textiellab. ‘This thick woollen rug slowly turns from pale pink to pale yellow through light. Only the surface changes colour.’

Laying Bag in collaboration with Febrikhe Febrik: ‘machine weaves cylindrical fabrics, which can be cut open and used for upholstery and in other applications. However, the designers have decided to use the machine as a kind of 3D printer that gives the product its shape as it produces the material. Thanks to the natural dye, the pale pink Laying Bag will slowly turn pale yellow over time while the deep folds will remain pale pink.’ /

‘The Thomaskerk church hall was built in 1966 and designed by Karel Sijmons. BELEN added a textured surface to the walls to improve heat and noise acoustic but keep to Sijmons’ earthy design intent.  BELEN wanted to create an atmosphere in a place you would want to stay in. ‘BELÉN treated the monumental walls with Cottonmix (cotton plaster) in a way that the specially designed structure is still visible but the appearance became much more soft and sound-absorbing.’ The beautifully integrated big Wooden Textiles mural became the most special part of the space. It covers a wall from 8m to 4,5 meters. The stitches suggest a horizon. Because of this striking composition you tend to look into the distance instead of being stopped by a vertical border.’ /

Paper Mulberry wood + different materials: “The basis for each wooden textile is tapa, a wooden cloth produced through an ancient and sustainable handicraft in Tonga. BuroBELÉN did research on its visual qualities combining it with different techniques.  In collaboration with women of Tonga, Textiellab /

Without stitch, natural /

With zigzag stitch, natural

Diamond stitch, tanine /

Detail of diamond stitch, tanine /

Salmon diamond stitch, natural /

Diamond stitch, rubia  /

Diamond stitch, indigo /

Paper Mulberry wood and silk. Wooden textiles: ‘Tapa-making: The basis for this ancient handicraft is the cambium of the paper mulberry tree, a thin layer of fibers between the bark and the wood of the tree. After harvesting the tree, Tongan women soak the cambium to beat the fibers to small cloths. In this process, they only use hardwood tools and a minimal amount of water. Then, they glue different cloths together using the starch of potatoes. This way they create tapa, a soft and flexible wooden cloth which Tongans use for rituals like weddings and funerals.         Enrichment: Although beautiful these fabrics ‘lack the practical qualities needed for contemporary use. That is why buroBELÉN enriches these wooden cloths through industrial European techniques of textile processing. First, they embroider wooden cloths with threads of silk from the mulberry silkworm, which eats the leaves of the tree. This treatment gives the wooden cloths the firmness of textile. Then, they are washed to dissolve the adhesive starch. Finally, there is the possibility to dye them with natural colours and they are given a finishing touch. In this process, ancient craft and modern industry come together to give this new material the right textile qualities for contemporary use.’  /

Combed cotton blankets: client: Textiellab Tilburg Year: 2012  Cotton, dyed with madder and reseda. ‘Highlighting the industrial heritage of the renowned AaBe woolen blankets that used to be produced in The Netherlands, Combed Cotton is a series of blankets with faded patterns and color blends. A new type of cotton yarn is developed with Rubia Natural Colors and woven into a cloth resulting in a fabric that can be combed, by doing so the fibers of the yarns expand in such a way that a highly tender texture appears. The soft blankets act as comfort creators in domestic space.’

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