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Textile designer Helene Vonsild has designed and produced a new collection of cushions in her own textile – Chicago – produced by Kvadrat. Chicago is an upholstery fabric comprising 80 per cent high-quality wool produced using a special weaving technique.
Two layers are woven together to create a plissé effect on the top layer. The plissé has different colours on each side, producing a very distinctive shimmer effect that changes according to the light, direction and colour combinations, explains Helene Vonsild.
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The cushions has been produced in five designs, resulting in a wide variety of sizes, colours and shapes. For example, the cushions are available in ten different colour combinations. The designer emphasises that the new cushions collection creates unexpected openings for the observer by virtue of its design. Not only when it is turned over in the shop, but also when it becomes part of the home environment.
The cushions allow innumerable combinations in terms of function, composition and aesthetics. They are in a constant state of change, depending on how they are used and the angle from which they are viewed.
When Helene Vonsild creates one-off designs or product samples for the industry, she normally does the weaving herself, but with the Chicago cushions collection, the textile designer also became a manufacturer. The pillow covers are sewn at Danish workshops – and naturally the cushions are filled with 100% duck down.
Simplicity is the key
The new cushions collection is also an expression of Helene Vonsild’s general view of design.
“I always look for the simple solution, but find a challenge in achieving a refined expression with simple devices. Much of my work consists of exploring the possibilities afforded by the loom, two skeins of yarn and the techniques of the craft. With the Chicago fabric, I made a conscious effort to use contrasting colours on each side of the plissé, creating a distinctive visual expression in a very simple way. I just work with the shimmer of the contrasting colours and, thus, fully exploit the effect in the cushions,” says Helene Vonsild.
In terms of composition, the cushions also consist of a simple design based on a variation in the composition of squares and rectangles. This creates a kind of interlaced effect. Some cushions feature a coarse zipper in a contrasting colour, adding a special functional and aesthetic dimension. This means, among other things, that the pillows with vertical zippers can be switched around and zipped together with other cushions, thus underpinning the many modes of expression possible through the combination of functionality, shape and composition.