About TF

TF was founded in 2015 and started as an artistic research exploration, in collaboration with people from various fields of expertise. 26 artists, designers from the Netherlands and 17 Indian craft communities and design studios created contemporary interpretations of chintz. A textile from India which influenced the Dutch traditional costumes in the 17th and 18th century.  

Textiel Factorij retraces the textile trade between India and the Netherlands and it’s influence on the Dutch textile colour, design, motives and patterns in the 17th and 18th century. During the 17th century there was a lively trade route between India and the Netherlands. Especially Gujarat and the Coromandel coast were important areas, where the Dutch East India Company (VOC) had set up trading posts and factories for the trade of cotton, indigo and silk.

By re-establishing connections between Dutch and Indian artists, designers and artisans, they collaboratively develop contemporary artwork and designs using century old craft techniques. In both countries, specific crafts are rapidly disappearing. By setting up a cross-cultural exchange with artisans, designers and artists from both countries, we examine how to preserve and manage this knowledge and make it accessible for use.

Cross-cultural exchange

The Indian colors, designs, techniques and the Dutch national costumes are characterized by their motives, themes and traditions which have specific (historical) meanings. TF has extensively explored how to create new applications of chintz and other craft techniques by developing new traditions. By analyzing the meaning of color usage, patterns and techniques of Dutch traditional costumes and Indian textiles, we develop a visual language, which contemporary artists and designers can apply to create ‘contemporary heritage’ artwork and products.

Together with upcoming and established artists and designers we explore our mutual heritage in the textile trade. This in order to preserve crafts traditions by exchanging knowledge between crafts(wo)men and designers in Netherlands and India. The results of this artistic research of our shared textile history and cross – cultural exchange have been unlocked by series of exhibitions in the Netherlands at Fries Museum, Zuiderzeemuseum, MuseumFabriek and the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam.

TF is a platform where people can collaborate, exchange knowledge on our shared history, craft traditions and create the most exquisite designs and artworks with Indian craftspeople.