Dutch-Indian textile trade, heritage and traditions

Knowledge exchange based on reciprocity

In 2016, 26 Dutch artists and designers collaborated with 17 Indian craft communities and design studios, to explore the influence of Indian textiles on Dutch costumes. Through creative methods and techniques, such as storytelling and craftsmanship, they developed artworks and designs. The results of their collaborative endeavours were exhibited across the Netherlands (Fries Museum, Zuiderzeemuseum, Museumfabriek and the Lloyd Hotel).

Textiel Factorij in India

The success of this cross-cultural exchange, and the enthusiasm and support of participating artists, designers and craftspeople in the Netherlands and India, has motivated Textiel Factorij to develop exhibitions to be presented India, this time from an Indian artistic and historical perspective. Textiel Factorij will work together with its partners: the Conflictorium Museum of Conflict in Ahmedabad and the Muziris Heritage Project in Kochi. The Netherlands has century-old textile trade relationships with these two cities and traces of the presence of the VOC can still be found today. The exhibitions will present artworks and other objects from the past and present. And the contemporary works created by Dutch designers and Indian artisans will be related to this shared past.

Textiel Factorij is currently developing a project about shared intangible heritage focused on Indian artistic and historical perspectives

Indian perspectives

The importance of reciprocal collaboration and the desire to break new grounds, drives Textiel Factorij to develop these exhibitions and a programme of events focused on socially relevant topics. With the current COVID-19 crisis, the need to share stories about shared histories, art, design and crafts, is crucial since this fragile sector is (increasingly) under threat. In order to sustain these centuries-old crafts, Textiel Factorij connects artists and artisans to establish small-scale production lines. Textiel Factorij is currently developing its programme of events and exploring the needs and requirements of artisans, designers and researchers working in this field.

This project was supported by DutchCulture’s Shared Cultural Heritage Matching Fund