Monday, 11 September 2017


While most of you were probably enjoying a relaxing vacation in July or August, I spent my summer stepping out of my comfort zone. Big time!

With no vacation planned ahead and summer being one of the busiest times of the year for my business I soldiered on. I designed lots of prints and patterns for S/S 2018 swimwear collections. Living Colour was gaining more and more attention. I was invited to give a short lecture about the project at Venture Café during their Fashion Innovation & Sustainability Meeting in July. I had never given lectures before and the last time I stood in front of a group of people and gave a presentation was when I was still studying. The whole thing was very nerve-racking as you can imagine. But everything went well and the room was absolutely packed which was very flattering. The audience was super engaged and I received a lot of interesting questions, which led to new insights for me as well.

As if one presentation wasn't enough, I was asked to be the co-pilot of Future Flight Movie Night: Biodesign x Fashion 2 weeks ago. The crowd here was even bigger! Plus the event was broadcasted live on Instagram. Luckily I didn't know that beforehand. But I blacked out for a second anyway, long live cue cards! You'd think I had enough right? Guess again! I'll be joining Waag Society on stage at the Natural Dyeing Textile Symposium in November.

Although speaking in public doesn't come natural to me I grab the opportunity anyway. It's a great chance to present my work and meet like-minded people. The beautiful thing about stepping out of your comfort zone is that you grow with every step.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


Spin Expo, a leading fibre, yarns, knitted fabrics and knitwear show, shared their S/S 2018 trends for new yarns and fashion fabrics. This new macro trend direction "Expect the unexpected" is divided into five main themes: Saturation, Imperfection, Distortion, Pigmentation and Explosion. These themes are inspired by the changes and uncertainties that exist in our societies, economic structures, political systems and environmental crises. I think their previous season's (A/W 2017-2018) trends about Biomimicry were visually and conceptually stronger, but it is certainly a feast for the trend driven eyes and mind.

Whether we like it or not, there is no constant other than change. There is a genuine fight between
wanting to keep the security of what we already know and challenging the insecurity of discovering the future.

Fashion always illustrates the world at its most pressing and controversial moments, beauty standards are, and will continue to be redefined. We need to adapt to change and amplify novelty products, being even more creative than ever using new technology, respecting individual differences in taste, with a real consideration for sustainability


The first concept titled “Saturation”, is looking at everything organic, natural, but with the addition of bio-technical fibres and stretch. Inspiration comes from organic and mineral shapes, shells, as well as matter; plaster, cellulose and paper. Innovative manufacturing methods, embellishments and finishing
add extra sophistication to stitches and body forms.



  • Ellipse & convolution; Lycra blister stitches, stretch
  • Detailing; Monofilament sculptural additions linked together
  • Movement; Structures bonded with plastics
  • Embroidery; Beading, puff binder and silicone print qualities
  • Lace construction; 3D Textures
  • Netting; Openwork



  • BCI cottons are important, in hybrid combinations using polyester and nylon.
  • Extra fine Merino and noble fibres
  • Recycled synthetics
  • Extra twisted ultrafine yarns
  • Viscose
  • Use of Spandex and elastane
  • Moisture management
  • UV protection
  • Tactility
  • Coatings




"Imperfection" explores the concept of beauty from the perspective of race and diversity. It analyses what beauty is and what it means to different people and cultures of the world. The importance of individual difference and perception allows us to consider how something that may be deemed imperfection can sometimes be more beautiful than perfection. Dysmorphic features and robotics bring a new dimension to change, with a drive for supernatural performance.


  • Subtle space dyed; Very subtle melange yarns
  • Sun printing, devoré; Iridescence
  • Very smooth surfaces; Skin like surfaces
  • Moiré; Changes in tones
  • Material but detailed; Fragmented
  • Simple structures; Stitching
  • Porous; Moist
  • Mocks ladders with ripple stitch dip dye painterly qualities
  • Heat transfer resist dye tie dyed hanks
  • Devoré


  • Crisp worsted cotton and linens
  • Polyester with a powdery touch
  • Twisted synthetics
  • Nylon & Polyester
  • Merino - coarse and fine
  • Space dyed
  • Glimpse of metallic
  • Tape yarns to print on



Everything that we consciously acknowledge can be shaken and twisted to offer new constructions. Integrating movement as a new creative process can provide direction and offer interesting concepts that can drive creativity in textile development.



  • Pleats
  • Undulation
  • Stretchy yarns pulling the fabrics in different directions; Everything entangled
  • Macro & micro boucle’s; Loops
  • Tone on tone patterns; Paint effects
  • Confusion; Frizzy
  • Furry; Webs, net inspired
  • Rubber; Latex
  • 3D – different levels on the surface of fabrics; Protection



  • Cellulosic
  • Combed cottons
  • Light twisted yarns
  • Twisted wools and cottons
  • Nylon in touch
  • Textured yarns
  • Fine mossy yarns
  • Performance chenille’s
  • Paper – coatings
  • Plastic feel



Colour and its myriad of shades are defined by “Pigmentation”. The fourth story integrates the deepness and structures of various black coloured yarns and fibres, studying how 3D effects, spraying and adjunction of various elements and printing work together to bring colour to the absence of colour. It speaks of traditions, repurposed craft, sustainability and heritage.


  • Knots, twists; Macramé, knotted tassels, embellishments
  • Bits & pieces; Twisting inlays
  • Layers; woven qualities
  • Modernity to the structure; Domestic e-wrap
  • Eco-sustainable; Natural dyes, blurred patterns
  • Stripes in all directions; addition knitted panels woven into fine knit structures


  • Worsted cotton
  • Crisp viscose
  • Linen
  • Ultrafine Merino
  • Monofilaments
  • Trilobal nylon
  • Brass – Copper
  • A feel of craft with technical aspects




"Explosion" is a festive interpretation of colours and ideas, integrating techniques both crafted and manufactured and combining a wide variety of dyes to produce and innovate. In a time of change and uncertainty, we aim to create positive mindsets and adventurous spirits to boost the imagination
and go beyond the commonly accepted and seek inspiration and positive potential in the least likely of places. Migrating population and different cultures affect our sense of beauty and colours.



  • Confused, scattered; Hand-made feel
  • Deconstructed, abstract; Jacquards, cut yarns
  • Iridescent inks patterns; Dazzling, winding
  • Waving multi-coloured stripes
  • Fireworks – vibrancy
  • Fringes, crochet, macramé


  • Silks
  • Metallics
  • Plastics
  • Viscose – mat and shiny
  • Worsted ultrafine wools and cottons 
  • Filaments
  • Fine Merino and blends
  • Coloured paper yarns
  • Synthetic raffia

Repurposing and Redefining Sustainability

Many spinners have taken their inspiration from new research and development techniques creating sustainable products using new technologies. We have witnessed a real drive to explore and evolve the collections around the idea of social responsibility, and this fits with the demands of consumers who are becoming more demanding and discerning in their purchasing behaviour. Organic fibres are partnering with new spinning and knitting technologies and what used to be a “marketing” appeal has now become a genuine direction. Consumers are asking for “better products” and we are witnessing a growing demand for better yarns, keeping their shape and both look and feel like affordable luxury. It means that middle to high-level suppliers with intelligently thought out collections are likely to see their business stabilize in the global economy. Brands need to serve more demanding consumers and need to partner with reliable and innovative suppliers.

The growing trend for athletic wear has been an eye-opener to many, who have switched from luxury goods to more modern, easy-to-wear and easy care fashion. Functionality is invading the younger, more sport oriented brands, and this has an impact on the yarn and knitwear collections.

Would you like to receive more trend updates like this? Then sign up for the Kukka letter. Every 3 months you'll receive inspirational mail in your digital inbox.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Today I'm showing you the possibilities of making and easily changing sewing patterns in Rhino 3D. I learned this technique in the course Textile Academy in October.

Many of you might know Rhino for its 3D shapes and drawings, but you can also use the programme to make 2D drawings. We used Rhino for digital pattern making because it’s very precise software. Most pattern design software is very expensive and is only affordable for large companies. If you're an independent designer or pattern maker, this process could save you time and resources.

We started by constructing a basic dress pattern in Rhino using our own body measurements. On the left you see 1/2 front side and on the right 1/2 back side of the dress. The top and bottom part are split. These patterns need to be cut from double folded fabric, otherwise you would have a seam in the middle.


So far, so good. But the excitement starts here: with a digital pattern it is easy to change the darts of a garment with just a few clicks, creating a new pattern.

"No paper waste, no waste of time, just some data loss"

To change the location of a bust dart on the top front part of the pattern, we can rotate it in any direction, starting from the bust apex. To close a dart, we first have to open/cut the ‘fabric’ on the opposite side. So here you see an animated example of how I shift the front dart to the side:


    1. I draw the new desirable horizontal dart 
    2. I split and rotate the bottom part until it fits the original dart we want to remove 
    3. I do the same for the top part 
    4. I close the bottom part 
    5. And finally I remove the old dart lines

      You can do this with any dart, as long as you rotate them starting from the apex. But darts can also be decorative instead of just being a construction seam. By closing a dart at the top and leaving it open at the bottom for example you create a pleat. You can also use it as a decorative stitching line.

      The only thing missing now is the seam tolerance. We can simply create this by using the command "offset" and create a tolerance of 1 cm around.

      "The one thing I find really amazing is how you can create a different garment from a basic pattern with just a few clicks"

      We used a vinyl cutter to "print" the pattern. The vinyl cutter is meant to create stickers, but it works like a plotter when you replace the knife with a drawing pen. It draws the pattern segments on paper within seconds. This is a good way to test if the pattern fits, before you cut the pattern out of fabric. An easy and precise way to cut the pattern out of fabric is by using a laser cutter machine. Your local fab lab or makerspace usually offers the use of vinyl cutters and laser cutting machines to the public.

      Used commands: split, trim, explode, join, rotate, offset

      If you're interested in learning techniques like these and many other textile skills, you can register for the new and improved Fabric Academy, starting September 26th 2017.

      Thursday, 16 March 2017


      Here's the latest Print & Pattern trend moodboard for S/S 2018 I created for online fashion platform Fashion Vignette.

      This trend shows terrazzo granite prints in modern colours. Terrazzo as we know it was created in Italy in the 1920's. It was very popular in the 80's and 90's when Memphis design was prominent.
      Check it out & be inspired.


      Fashion Vignette was founded in February 2011, an outlet where you'll find trends and inspirations. Our monthly posts consist of trends, design competitions, features and many other inspirations.

      Also check out Fashion Vignette Design Studio which provides design and consulting services, where we create, develop and design for clients in the fashion industry.

      Wednesday, 8 March 2017

      LIVING COLOUR: dyeing textiles with dancing bacteria

      As I wrote earlier, I took part in the class Textile Academy at Waag Society in Amsterdam for 16 weeks. Each week I learned new tools, software and skills to investigate how the textile and fashion industry can benefit from new technologies, processes, and business models. The workshops gave me the instruments and knowledge to develop my own in-depth research project in the TextileLab. Living Colour is the result.

      Imagine a world where biological fabrication replaces synthetic manufacturing. Until the middle of the 19th century, all dyes used in textiles were naturally derived. Ever since the textile industry uses synthetic and toxic colourants almost exclusively. These dyes are mostly made from non-renewable resources such as fossil oil, in spite of its hazardous effect to the environment, animals and humans.

      As an alternative to synthetic pigments, some aerobic bacteria produce bio pigments like: carotenoids and violacein. These colours are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. They also have numerous clinical characteristics like anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-biotic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. This could be beneficial to our skin, our largest organ, which now absorbs small amounts of toxic chemicals on a daily basis.

      "Living Colour explores natural textile dyeing with live bacteria by the use of sound."

      Living Colour

      Fellow Textile Academy participant Ilfa Siebenhaar & I decided to work together on project Living Colour. We were both fascinated by bacterial pigments and creating patterns on textiles. Living Colour explores natural textile dyeing with live bacteria by the use of sound. We investigated the optimum growth conditions for bacterial pigments, ways to speed up the growth process and the possibilities of growing bacteria in patterns by subjecting them to sound frequencies. Asking “What effect do sound frequencies have on the growth of bacterial pigments?” and “Can we control the process of growing bacterial pigments?

      geometric Chladni figures: sand on a metal resonating plate

      We took inspiration from cymatic phenomena like Chladni figures and Faraday waves, which cause matter to take form in geometrical patterns when subjected to sound. With the help of sound engineer Eduard van Dommelen we built a sound installation in the biomedical lab of Rotterdam University. By making the bacteria dance, we attempted to exclude random growth in order to create beautiful patterned fabrics.

      Audio installation in lab climate room

      "Growing bacteria as a dye factory can lead to a more sustainable way to colour the world."

      We discovered that sound frequencies help speed up pigment production. While the bacteria that weren't subjected to sound created stained fabrics, we found that the dancing bacteria created plain dyed fabrics. Even though the result was the opposite of what we aimed for, the result was absolutely fascinating. Using sound frequencies to grow bacteria could lead to ways of scaling up the bacterial dye process.

      Lab day 1: petri dishes with pieces of raw silk

      Audio experiment results: pieces of plain dyed silk

      Janthinobacterium Lividum (JL) is an excellent bacterium for use of textile dyeing. It grows fast, even in not so optimal conditions and produces saturated pigments. When dyeing textiles with live bacteria, the textiles don’t necessarily need to be mordanted before dyeing, unlike natural dyes from plants, insects and spices. Mordanting and fixing the textiles could result in even better colour results. All kinds of textiles and textures, including salmon skin leather, can be dyed with JL bacteria. Bamboo is the only fabric that we tested that the bacteria didn't like.

      Material test: dyed fabric swatches, without the use of sound

      Living Colour Publication

      The results of the research are published in an open source book, available on Issuu. The publication is also included in the library collection of the Applied University of Lucerne, Switzerland. Their research team (products & textiles) in cooperation with 'Raum für Farben' (room for colours) is researching the state of the art concerning natural dye- and print techniques/materials.

      In collaboration with TextileLab Amsterdam, Living Colour was featured in the exhibition 'reVISIONing textile' last January.

      UPDATE: Living Colour is part of exhibitions Earth Matters, curated by Li Edelkoort & Philip Fimmano and Fashion Makes Sense LAB during FashionClash Festival 2017.

      We would love to extend and continue our research. Therefore we ask scientists, material designers, educational institutes, textile developers, textile institutes, etc. to contact us for future collaborations.
      Send your email to: info[@]

      Thursday, 19 January 2017

      reVISIONing textile

      Imagine making clothes that fill our hearts instead of our landfills;

      Imagine fashion free from exploitation and pollution;

      Imagine knowing how garments are made;

      Imagine making it happen together.

      The fashion textiles industry is a fast-paced one. It is able to adapt to trends within a matter of weeks or days. Yet, this industry has a hard time adapting to the latest standards in sustainability, labour and (digital) innovation. The exhibition “reVISIONing textile” presents the quest for a new design landscape. It is sculpted and imagined by designers, artists and developers who feel the need to revise and re-envision the future textile world.

      Textile Academy by Waag Society
      For the past four months, this group of designers and artists from various disciplines and countries came together at the Textile Academy in Amsterdam. They critically examined and challenged existing and emerging textile techniques. How can we replace synthetic and finite resources with natural and renewable alternatives? What is the role of physical textile in a world that is becoming increasingly virtual and digital?

      The reVISIONing textile exhibition showcases the result of their research so far. The works and installations build new awareness, propositions and mindsets for the way we relate to fashion and textiles. From dyeing with bacteria, to designing for artificial intelligence and taking part in a fashion assembly line, reVISIONing textile hopes to challenge the way you envision the textiles that are all around you.

      Caroline Bronkers (NL), Adriana Cabrera (CO), Monique Grimord (US), Dagmar Grote (NL), Maartje Janse (NL), Joris Lam (NL), Laura Luchtman (NL), Kim Meijer (NL), Brigitta Ruven (NL), Ilfa Siebenhaar (NL), Marloeke van der Vlugt (NL)

      reVISIONing textile exhibition

      opening: 27 January 20:00h at Waag Society

      Friday 27 January 20:00h – 22:00h
      Saturday 28 January 12:00h – 18:00h
      Sunday 29 January 12:00h – 17:00h

      free admission

      location 1:
      Waag Society, Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam

      location 2:
      Schatjes arts + events, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 119, Amsterdam

      Tuesday, 29 November 2016


      Here's the latest Print & Pattern trend moodboard for A/W 2017-2018 I created for online fashion platform Fashion Vignette

      Fashion Vignette was founded in February 2011, an outlet where you'll find trends and inspirations. Our monthly posts consist of trends, design competitions, features and many other inspirations. Check it out & be inspired.

      Also check out Fashion Vignette Design Studio which provides design and consulting services, where we create, develop and design for clients in the fashion industry.