All sorts of fabrics
I have a soft spot in my heart for textiles. Because material is worn close to one’s body, it’s deeply related to the sense of touch. Also a person’s hearing and sense of smell are stimulated by textiles. For this reason, I want my photos to touch the senses.
It is awe-inspiring when you consider how much human thought and creative energy has been used to weave fabrics and turn them into beautiful objects.
The photographing of a cotton chintz bed spread in Duivenvoorde Castle, Voorschoten. The fabric is in exceptionally good condition, considering the minor degree of wear and tear and the brightness of the colours.
Relatively few textiles from the past have been preserved. That is the reason it’s so extraordinary when a dress or a precious piece of fabric is found intact after centuries. Materials like these are often extremely fragile, so people skilled at handling artefacts like these are present to reduce the risk of damage during the photographic sessions.
Detail on chintz of a swan being attacked from the collection of Duivenvoorde Castle. Chintz is a finely woven cotton fabric hand painted in India. In the seventeenth century these fabrics were very exclusive. It was only in the eighteenth century that less expensive variations of chintz became available.
An extremely precious silk dress that was discovered in the so-called Palmwood Wreck, a seventeenth-century shipwreck near the Dutch island of Texel. The dress is the most remarkable find from that wreck. In the article Textiles from a sunken ship you can find out more about the photography of this special collection of objects.
Detail of a piece of embroidered silk also from the shipwreck near Texel. These photos were commissioned by the Province of North Holland.
Photographing damask tablecloths and napkins also presents huge challenges. The patterns in damask are created by the weaving technique. These can only be seen from a certain angle and even under optimum conditions the contrast is low. The task at hand is to make the shimmer of the material visible, and preferably have the motif stand out: appear darker against its lighter background. On the table a newly-produced Butterfly-motif table runner designed by Chris Labeau available via Sanny De Zoete, Antiek Design Linnengoed, an online shop specializing in antique & design linens.
And finally a look back in time to analogue photography: these are (digital) scans made from 6 x 6 slides. They were made for the 2005 exhibition Welgesteld en Goedgekleed (Lit. Well-to-do and Well-dressed ) in Duivenvoorde Castle.
Children's clothing displayed in the blue guest room at Duivenvoorde Castle for the same exhibition.