Wolf-Gordon Design Studio has collaborated with Dutch textile designer Mae Engelgeer to develop an expressive new collection of upholstery fabrics. Drawing from her cross-market expertise, Engelgeer focused on developing a group of sophisticated yet playful fabrics, with tactility and a residential influence. The result is three textile patterns that mix natural wool and cotton with polyester and metallic yarns, bringing a warm, luxuriant feel to seating intended for workplace and hospitality interiors.
Engelgeer’s design process begins with conceiving of a specific feeling and “atmosphere,” inspired by her travels, museum visits, and current fashion. She then sketches different shapes and uses photos, color swatches, and material samples to help visualize her concepts and give them texture and dimension. Her sketches are transformed into digital files and then into physical prototypes on jacquard weaving machines at the Textiel-Lab, a fabrication workshop located in The Netherlands. There she can see samples woven in real time and experiment with a diverse selection of yarns and fibers, including wool, mohair, silk, cotton, and metallic filaments.
Samples were then sent to Wolf-Gordon to make pattern selections and translate Engelgeer’s eclectic materials into textiles that would pass the commercial industry’s durability and safety standards. Working with a US-based mill and aiming to keep a high percentage of natural fibers, three of the patterns were converted into blends of wool, cotton, and polyester, woven with nylon warps. The resulting fabrics—Mass, Merge, and Points—meet all ACT performance standards and achieved 100,000 double rubs on the Wyzenbeek abrasion test.
Mass makes the boldest statement with its floating stone pattern—a dramatically magnified interpretation of a terrazzo floor. A more linear approach is seen in Merge, where metallic yarns travel in S-curves across the width of the fabric. Points is the most domestically-influenced design, with its dot pattern partially obscured by an intricate veil of fine threads. Together, the patterns make up the MATTER collection, a departure from the more reserved interplay of lines and forms seen in Engelgeer’s first collaboration with Wolf-Gordon. This collection provides designers with a variety of scales, while the lush color palette unites the designs with a harmonious, contemporary look.
As stated about the MATTER collection in Metropolis magazine, “Engelgeer defies contract-market convention, not just with her novel designs but with contrasting materials and textures that betray a fascination—seldom seen in commercial fabrics—with tactility, dimensionality, and luxury.” Her conceptual strength and ongoing experimentation in textile design enrich our upholstery selection and the overall vitality of Wolf-Gordon as a design force in the commercial marketplace.