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A textile playground

Projects | February 1, 2015 | By:

“At present, the modern world tends to follow minimalist ideas,” says Hungarian textile designer Zsuzsanna Szentirmai-Joly. “Everybody seems to simplify and purify.” When developing her signature fabric and business, Laokoon, Szentirmai-Joly threw pure and simple out the window. She opted instead for opulent colors, texture resembling curved fish scales, and the ability to take on organic shapes ready to leap into space. “Laokoon’s design will stay lush and alive as nature itself,” says Szentirmai-Joly.

Laokoon textile depends on traditional sewing and weaving techniques, but it gradually evolves as new materials are layered on it, most commonly PET or APET (amorphous polyethylene terephthalate). The high-quality plastic pieces provide Laokoon with extraordinary flexibility, stress tolerance and just a hint of transparency. An array of colors or color combinations are produced via digital printing and give the fabric a mother-of-pearl sheen as it is wrapped or shaped. Other materials with which Szentirmai-Joly is experimenting including leather, fiberboard, wood and cork.

The Enso lamp, a striking Laokoon product line, consists of a solid lamp base with borosilicate glass bulb wrapped in Laokoon. The textile shapes and drapes into an organic form, making each lamp unique and, when lit, glowing and ready for flight. The hand-sewn Laokoon can be fabricated in a maximum width of 39 inches and unlimited length. See examples of the fabric and lamp designs and a video of the process of developing Laokoon.

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