100 years De Stijl, 2016

The making of ...

a work inspired by De Stijl. In 2017, the Netherlands celebrated "100 Jaar De Stijl", the 100 year anniversary of De Stijl, the artistic movement based around straight lines and primary colours. Museum Het Leids Wevershuis organized a special exhibition and contest "Museum Het Leids Wevershuis in Stijl" for weavers, quilters and felters.I participated with the woven work "Composition number 2 with lines and straight angles", 60 x 60 cm.

The series consists of three workpieces of 60 x 60 cm.

Design with felt pen on paper

This is my first design, drawn with felt pen on graph paper. The design is inspired by the basic principles of the art movement De Stijl, but with a modern twist through the coloured angular shapes.


In general, De Stijl proposed ultimate simplicity and abstraction, both in architecture and painting, by using only straight horizontal and vertical lines and rectangular forms. Furthermore, their formal vocabulary was limited to the primary colours, red, yellow and blue, and the three primary values, black, white and grey.


According to the specifications of the contest we where additionally allowed to use the colour green.

Buildings, Riley in Metz 2012, handwoven, weaving

Design with black lines added

This is the same design but executed in coloured cardboard and with black lines added. It has become more pronounced due to these black lines.


Now the challenge was to figure out how to convert this into a weaving draft!

Testing profile drafts

I tested a large number of variants with different widths of the coloured angular shapes, both horizontally and vertically and with and without black ...


Final profile draft

Finally I chose this profile draft. Well, sort of profile draft. This draft is something in between a profile draft and a thread-by-thread weaving draft.

It is in 1/3 versus 3/1 twill on 32 shafts. I chose these unbalanced twills to alternate warp effect and weft effect and to be able to put bright colours next to each other.

Thread-by-thread draft

The thread-by-thread draft on almost 800 warp threads.


I wanted the colours to be as bright as possible. The yarns from my stock that were the most suitable appeared to be linen, of all kinds of thickness. Except for the black; that was cottolin. To even out the different thickness of the yarn, for some colours I had to work with double threads and I varied the ends/cm per color from 7 to 11 ends/cm.

Buildings, Riley in Metz 2012, handwoven, weaving


So I winded a warp for three works, warped the loom, threaded the heddles, sleyed the reed and started weaving.


Nice how the different blocks of the design are already visible in the groups of heddles!


I liked the details very much, but the fragile grey warp threads kept breaking and the colours in the end result were not bright enough due to the grey.


I clearly made a mistake in the colour choice. Therefore there was no point in making two more pieces with time-consuming repair of broken threads and still not be satisfied by the result: so the grey had to go!

Replacing grey by white

I decided to replace the grey warp by stronger white cotton. Fortunately I have a second warp beam!


I cut off the grey and wound the replacement white warp on the second warp beam.

Much better

Now the result came much closer to what I had in mind and I wove the two other pieces with white instead of grey. Both in the warp and in the weft.


Finally the three works were stretched around a wooden frameworks and finished with a custom-sawn and black-painted floater frame.

The size of each work is 60 x 60 cm.

Finally, all 3 pieces were photographed by a professional photographer, MORE fotografie

And I chose the middle one to submit for the exhibition. "Composition number 2 with lines and straight angles".

My work was chosen and exhibited in the group exhibition of 67 weavers, quilters and felters from 17 June to 25 September 2017 at Museum Het Leids Wevershuis in Leiden, The Netherlands.