Invisible Threads Debuting at NeoCon 2022

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Birds Eye view of stool and fabric swatches on floor.
Posted by: Kristin Crane Category: Design Tags: , , , , , , Comments: 0

Invisible Threads Debuting at NeoCon 2022

“An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”

Chinese Proverb

Who are the invisible threads running through your life, stretching and tangling, but never breaking?
Who are the people whose paths have crossed yours and provided support and inspiration?

We all have people in our professional and personal lives with whom we feel a connection. Together, these connections form the tapestry of our lives. There is a reason textiles are so often used as metaphors when discussing community. Our community connections form a warp and weft and intersect to create a life both structurally sound and inherently beautiful.

These connections inspired our new collection, Invisible Threads.

When Kristen started designing, she thought a lot about how our actual textiles connect us to our metaphorical ones. In our lives, they carry memories and are physical reminders of people and places. Seeing or touching a textile can transport us to a different time and place. These types of memories are valuable reminders of the invisible threads in our lives, the people who support and inspire us. And we believe these memories are critically important to people’s physical and mental health.

It was why we kept thinking of healthcare interiors while creating this collection. Healthcare facilities and senior living environments require high-performance materials to withstand rigorous cleaning protocols. And rich, embroidered, or embellished textiles do not meet those requirements. This inspired Kristen to design a collection using the latest in digital printing technology to enhance otherwise smooth materials or communication tools with rich, visual texture.

The goal was to create a visual experience for a place that can’t have a tactile one.

Ultimately, we want these flat materials to summon the feelings handmade textiles evoke and bring calm to people in a potentially stressful environment. We want to give them a reminder of their own support system. For imagery, we took inspiration from nature. Nature is a healing force. Even just seeing nature out a window or elements that remind you of nature, can yield positive health results when it’s physically impossible to go outside. We also started with actual hand stitching so that our digital designs had an inherently handmade feel.

There is no more appropriate tool for executing this idea than digital printing. It allows designers the ability to create with an unlimited number of colors in a design. Instead of solid areas of flat color, we can create visual texture by using tons of individual shades of color.

Many Design Pool patterns in our library have our signature textured look, but we pushed the concept even further, by developing a unique method of drawing with texture to create an embroidered effect. The result is patterns that, from a distance, look like an embroidered cloth but are actually printed on high-performance materials suitable for healthcare interiors. 

Invisible Threads makes its debut at NeoCon 2022 in Chicago, June 13 – 15. If you’ll be attending, we hope you’ll stop by booth 7-3050 on the seventh floor of theMART to see the collection in person.

Photo credit: Jennifer Bakos Photography

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