HANCOCK -- Three Finlandia University Art and Design juniors and a BFA alumna have benefited from an exchange arranged by Finlandia associate professor Phyllis Fredendall.
The Victor Group of New York City has woven for each student-designer five yards of upholstery-weight Jacquard fabric, which is valued at $40 to $60 per yard.
Pictured here, from left, are Ansley Knoch, Juice Demers, Susie Danielson, Phyllis Fredendall and Amanda Moyer, with their Jacquard fabric designs woven by the Victor Group. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)
The four young women, however, view the Jacquard fabric as "priceless."
Fredendall directs the Fiber Arts and Fashion Design program for Finlandia’s International School of Art and Design. In the Spring 2009 semester section of her class, "Jacquard Design," the now-woven patterns were designed.
"This is the first time we have worked with Victor Group," said Fredendall. "The details were worked out by phone and e-mail, and earlier this month I visited their studios in New York during a recruiting trip there."
The Victor Group weaves fabrics for commercial uses, such as upholstery for office and hotel furnishings. The company produces leading-edge textiles and is known for its leadership in operational and product ecological sustainability, according to their website.
As part of the exchange, the Victor Group owns the student designs, which become part of Victor’s design library.
The opportunity began when Fredendall contacted the German company, EAT, makers of DesignScope CAD weaving software. EAT develops electronic textile patterning and related industry software.
"We had been working with another company that notified us that they were unable to continue to weave for us," Fredendall explained. "So, I contacted EAT and asked them for help finding another opportunity to have our designs woven. They sent a notice to users of DesignScope software, and Ann Reinhard, senior CAD designer at Victor, replied that she was interested in working with us!"
Fredendall noted also that Linda Allen, design manager at Victor, who had offered the students critiques of their designs during the Spring 2009 semester, is interested in contributing to the education of future textile designers.
So how will the young fabric designers use the Jacquard fabric?
"That’s the million dollar question," said junior Susie Danielson of Kingsford, Mich. "It’s very precious fabric."
Danielson’s design is based on a lotus flower.
"Ask me in a couple of years," added Amanda Moyer of Livonia, Mich. "Maybe I’ll make a coat one day.”
Moyer’s design is titled, "Celtic Knot."
Juice DeMers of Vulcan, Mich., is planning to use some of the fabric to make handbags to sell at this spring’s annual Finlandia Fusion Fest. Her design is named "Juice Squid."
Finlandia alumna Ansley Knoch ('09) of Hancock was a teaching assistant for the spring weaving class. Her fabric design pattern is Nordic-inspired. Knoch said she plans to give some of her fabric to her mother to refinish a rocking chair that Ansley was rocked in as a baby.
Fredendall also created and had woven a Jacquard design; her design is called "Pink Pears." She, too, is uncertain how she’ll ultimately use her five yards of Jacquard.
The Jacquard mechanical loom was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801 and was originally controlled by punch cards; today the looms are computer-controlled power looms.
"The loom simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns, such as brocade, damask, double-weave, and tapestry," Fredendall said. "The Jacquard style of weaving is the most complex structure in weaving because threads can be manipulated individually. As a result, detailed images with large repeating patterns can be designed and woven."
For additional information, please contact Phyllis Fredendall at 906-487-7376 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: Photo and text courtesy Finlandia University.