About TF

Textiel Factorij consists of 6 projects and is in part made possible by financial contributions from:  DutchCulture (project 6: digital platform); Mondriaan Fonds (project 1: research and project 2: commissioning new works); Stimuleringfonds (project 2: commissioning new works); and Barbas-van der Klaauw Fonds, het Netty van Doorn Fonds en het Joes Meester Fonds en het Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds (project 4: exhibition serie).

Textiel Factorij retraces the textile trade between India and the Netherlands and it’s influence on the Dutch textile colour, design, motives and patterns in the 17th and 18th century. During the 17th century there was a lively trade route between India and the Netherlands. Especially Gujarat and the Coromandel coast were important areas, where the Dutch East India Company (VOC) had set up trading posts and factories for the trade of cotton, indigo and silk.

By re-establishing connections between Dutch and Indian artists, designers and artisans, they collaboratively develop contemporary artwork and designs using century old craft techniques. In both countries, specific crafts are rapidly disappearing. By setting up a cross-cultural exchange with artisans, designers and artists from both countries, we examine how to preserve and manage this knowledge and make it accessible for use.

Cross-cultural exchange

The Indian colors, designs, techniques and the Dutch national costumes are characterized by their motives, themes and traditions which have specific (historical) meanings. For this project we are looking for new applications of chintz and other craft techniques by developing new traditions. By analyzing the meaning of color usage, patterns and techniques of Dutch traditional costumes and Indian textiles, we aim to develop a visual language, which contemporary artists and designers can apply to create ‘contemporary heritage’ artwork and products. Together with upcoming and established artists and designers we will be exploring our mutual heritage in the textile trade. This in order to preserve crafts traditions by exchanging knowledge between crafts(wo)men and designers in Netherlands and India. The results of this artistic research of our shared textile history and cross – cultural exchange will be unlocked by series of exhibitions, to be exhibited at various locations in the Netherlands and India. Moreover we will develop a digital platform, a rich database with our shared history of craft traditions where people can place an order directly with crafts communities.