Java 5254R

Designed for VLISCOReference number 5254R NEON BRILLIANCECollection Q3_2015 TellFirst launch Q3_2015Size Sold in 6 yard lenghts (5496mm x 1177mm)technique Java screenprintin collection Cooper Hewitt New York

The elemental properties of designing a fabric that seems to emit light collide with the technical restrictions of printing on textile.
If I truly understood this at the beginning of a year long process I probably would have backed out immediately.

It comes down to this:
While it is (ofcourse) rather easy to print a thin outline with dark dye over a light background, it is extremely hard to do the opposite; have fine light details appear on a large dark area. Unfortunately this is exactly the technique you need when you want the suggestion of thin glass tubes emitting rays of light in different light colours over a dark background.

But the amazing Vlisco Java team did it… I don’t know how many people where involved in this process but take it from me that every expert from laboratorium to the machine operators had a share in this. It took almost over a year and several different approaches and designs but we finally succeeded.

It is therefore one of the designs I am the most proud of… it truly looks solid and flawless. A true Java product with a modern twist.


Pop-art was the inspiration for my textiles this season. Neon lighting seemed like a good starting point. The challenge was to make a design that is on the edge of pop-culture without looking tacky. By the way the process of making Neon tubes is remarkably artisanal and industrial at the same time. This similarity with Vlisco felt like a good sign.

I didn’t want to use typography for the design. Instead I used centuries old arabic ornaments as the backbone for the tubes. Because the old arabic patterns are highly based on geometric math it wasn’t too difficult to come up with three different patterns that intersect each other in a esthetically nice way. The clash between these ancient old pattern and the modern neons is what makes this fabric work.

The tubes seem to emit light by means of dozens of tiny dots commonly known ‘a halftone raster’. This raster is made famous by Roy Liechtenstein’s paintings. Another small reference to the Pop Art theme of this season.

There is also a cool promotional video overhere