“I have worked with linen for many years, and it remains my favourite material. For the craftsperson, linen is a challenging material that is never fully tamed, and it has a mind of its own”.
Karin Carlander (all photos by Jeff Hargrove) is a Danish textile artist and curator. She lives and work north of Copenhagen. “In my work, I reinterpret traditional Nordic crafts and the use of textiles for practical everyday purposes”, says Carlander. I develop my designs in an experimental process that includes drawings as well as hands-on work on the loom and which always leaves room for serendipitous discoveries.
From Picasso to Japanese craftsmanship
I grew up in a small seaside town on the Danish island of Funen. At the age of 19, I went to Provence to learn from the French weaver Jacqueline de la Baume Dürrbach, who worked with Picasso to create tapestries based on some of his paintings. I returned to Denmark to attend the Danish Design School in Copenhagen (now the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design), graduating in 1987 with an MA in textile design”.
Her third year of studies at the Danish Design School included a three-month study period that she had to plan herself. “I spent three months travelling and learning in Japan. This trip planted the seed for my life-long love and respect for Japanese design and craftsmanship”.
In 1988, she established her own studio. She spent the following decades creating and exhibiting one-off hand-woven textiles and working as a textile designer for several established companies. She also worked as a curator and concept developer in connection with exhibitions on Danish furniture design for the well known collaboration Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling, SE.
In 2013, Karin Carlander launched her own brand, TEXTILE No.
In 2016 TEXTILE No. became a certified member of Masters of Linen based in Paris.
“I launched TEXTILE No. in summer 2013 as my own brand and design. My goal was to bring my hand-woven designs into a contemporary context and create a transparent brand with as few intermediaries as possible between the artistic process and the enduser.
I have worked as a weaver and exhibited one-offs for many years. Anyone who masters a craft holds tacit knowledge that is conveyed through one’s hands and by example. Craft based objects are created at a pace that leaves room for reflection, and that gives us a deeper understanding of and respect for how the objects we live with are made.
The first textile I created for Textile No. was a tea towel, an everyday tool and the backbone of our use of textiles in the home. I work with functional textiles, because I think that the objects we handle in connection with everyday chores and activities should hold artistic value”.
The name TEXTILE No. has roots in the system of numbers that are widely used to indicate the thickness of the yarn and the number of threads. Crucial information for the weaver when planning a textile.
Karin Carlander’s brand is based on three simple principles : sustainability, multifunctionality and a mixand-match colour palette.
All the textiles in the collection are woven or crocheted of 100% European linen spun from flax naturally grown in France. Most of the pieces in the collection serve additional functions beyond their basic purpose, and all the colours in the collection match, so you can combine them as you like.
The size of the textiles relates to a number; for example No. 6 measures 150 x 100 cm, No. 9 50 x 25 cm etc. The collection does not include a No. 1, as no number has more value in the collection than any other. Each No. comes in a variety of designs. The design may change, but the No. stays the same.
All the textiles in the collection have woven selvedges as an important reference to handwaving and the artistic process.
Karin Carlander : “I think that the objects we handle in connection with everyday chores and activities should hold artistic value”.
Keep up to date with the Flax community through social media:
Pinterest: We Are Linen
Vimeo: We are Linen
#ULTRALIN: a flax promotion programme, jointly financed by the European Union and the Flax industry, and targeting the final consumer.
ULTRA LIN L’EXPO: A exhibition open to everyone, running in Paris from 26 May to 5 June 2016.
J’Aime Le Lin (I love Linen): A shopping itinerary in Paris and the provinces, from 23 May to 6 June 2016. Department stores, own-brand stores, concept stores and online sites become official representatives of flax for the general public.
Dive into the FLAX experience, from agriculture to final products with the webdoc: ultralin.fr/webdoc
ENJOY, IT’S FROM EUROPE