lage landen linnen // low countries linen | 2014 - 2016

Project realized together with Jasmin Koschutnig and Marjanne van Helvert.

THE PLAN // The production and use of linen was a tradition in the Netherlands for centuries. Flax, from which in addition to linseed also the linen fiber is extracted, was grown and processed on Dutch soil from the long time. With the arrival of cheap cotton and synthetic fabrics, the more costly linen from our cloth and clothing cabinets has disappeared. The textile industry has moved to low-wage countries, and local knowledge and craft of linen production are likely to disappear. We would like to change that. We want to produce linen again in a sustainable and transparent way, where we will fill all production steps locally. In the first place, we want to make an inventory of existing knowledge and build a network of people and companies that are currently working on growing and processing flax, spinning yarn, weaving fabrics and designing textile products. Secondly, we want to create unique linen products that show the properties and diversity of linen, and which are made entirely in the Netherlands: Low Countries Linen.

THE APPROACH // The organizations and companies that currently represent the linen industry in the Netherlands, and the knowledge they possess, are our starting point. By working together with current growers and processors of flax, we want to form the beginning of a new chain of existing links. By adding new and unexpected links, such as hand weavers, craftsmen and talented designers to the chain, we want to create commitment and enthusiasm, which can lead to sustainable cooperation. The end products that we produce in this way will be a collective creation for which all steps in the development process are of equal importance. The labels of the products will indicate who has participated, so that the consumer is also involved in the process and becomes aware of the origin of the materials and the craft behind a product.

THE ORGANISATION // We are a small group of creative people whose sustainability is close to heart. In our work there is often the desire to discover sustainable production methods and materials (again), or to raise awareness for alternative ways of designing, producing and consuming. We have experience with textile production, fashion and interior, photography and activism, and knowledge of materials and techniques. We see design as something that applies from beginning to end of the life of a product, from raw material to recycling. Craft and handicrafts are recurring elements that can guarantee quality and durability.

© 2020 Silver J. Bosch