{Netherlands} The Textielmuseum at Woonbeurs

October 9, 2013


As I mentioned on Monday, I visited the Woonbeurs interior design trade fair while I was in Amsterdam, and discovered a stall hosted by the TextielMuseum, or more specifically, a mini version of its TextielLab.

Textiel Museum tent at Woonbeurs Amsterdam

In its own words, “the TextielMuseum is a working museum. It brings inspiring exhibitions in the field of design and art and offers educational programmes in a former textile factory. The TextielLab of the TextielMuseum is a unique knowledge centre that is both a highly specialised workshop for producing experimental knits and woven fabrics as well as an open atelier where innovation can take centre stage.” Besides the lab, the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions, the museum also has an extensive library. Together, they offer an excellent resource for research and inspiration.

Textiel Museum tent and exhibit at Woonbeurs Amsterdam

Textiel Museum tent and exhibit at Woonbeurs Amsterdam

I think it’s great to see a museum represented at such a major trade fair, living its mission of being a source of inspiration at an event visited by many creative people looking for just that. And through its presence at Woonbeurs also showing and reinforcing the relevance of museums to our contemporary life. Many people still have the misconception of museums being fusty dusty places that are boring to visit, but in fact so many of them are current and modern – whether through their content or their presentation or both – and these days there’s a museum for almost everything, so whatever your interests there’s probably a museum out there for you!

Textiel Museum at Woonbeurs Amsterdam - designs

Textiel Museum at Woonbeurs Amsterdam - yarns

At the museum, designers, artists, students, product developers and technical experts work together to explore new opportunities in the field of textiles, ranging from hand dyed yarns, to computer controlled handicrafts and techniques. It seemed appropriate, therefore, that the displays at Woonbeurs showed not only finished textile designs and samples, but also materials and techniques, e.g. natural materials that are used for dyes, the process of choosing colours, and some of the tools used in producing the textiles.

Textiel Museum at Woonbeurs Amsterdam - natural materials

Textiel Museum at Woonbeurs Amsterdam - natural colours

Textiel Museum at Woonbeurs Amsterdam - brush tool

Textiel Museum at Woonbeurs Amsterdam - dish cloths

At the very modern end of the scale, there was a small exhibit of sculptural pieces of furniture, from a collection called “Fallen Rocks”. The pieces, which are all unique and available on request, consist of soft, textile bases topped with hard, stone slabs. The name of the series comes from the impression the tables create, of the stone slabs having fallen from the sky. I loved the description of the exhibits: “A pliable volume of fabric embraces the rough edged stone with its polished tabletop surface. Various tactilities meet and form a strong charactered object.”

Textiel Museum at Woonbeurs Amsterdam - fallen rock table

The TextielMuseum is situated outside of Amsterdam, and it would have been impossible for me to visit it during my short trip, so I was delighted to get a glimpse of it at Woonbeurs instead. As much as, of course, I am always delighted to discover museums in unexpected places. What’s your most unexpected museum experience?


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