By Mallory Bulman
In the early 1940’s, the upholstery market was rife with chintz, brocade and cabbage roses. As Florence Knoll, textiles designer for Hans Knoll’s modern furniture collection, searched for inspiration beyond the typical market trends, she found the grey and beige tweeds and flannels of Scotland to be complimentary to Hans Knoll’s streamlined designs. The unconventional adoption of menswear fabric for furniture application established Florence Knoll’s ongoing trademark innovation, and KnollTextiles was founded in 1947.
“Very few textile companies can say they offer a breadth of products that have had a consistent point of view for 70 years. More importantly, no one in the market is connected to a legendary design visionary like Florence Knoll, the founder of our company who celebrates her 100th birthday in 2017,” said Dorothy Cosonas, creative director at KnollTextiles.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Florence Knoll’s enduring vision, Cosonas and her team explored the company’s archives to create a collection of classic textiles adapted for today’s commercial spaces. “We studied multiple archives and worked with various mills to reinterpret the colors, structure and materials of these textiles,” Cosonas said in a statement. “Our 70th anniversary was a great opportunity to revisit and reinvigorate product from past decades adding even more choice of KnollTextiles for today’s specifier.”
The result is the Legacy Collection, consisting of six archive-inspired upholstery patterns, two drapery fabrics and three high-performance vinyl wallcoverings. The company plans to expand the collection with more product offerings throughout 2017.
The new Legacy Collection includes:
Catwalk: A fashion-inspired window pane patterned textile with multi-colored line work produced on a custom loom set with space-dyed yarn. Catwalk was inspired by Knoll’s Irish Tweed Grid and Kincaid patterns, both launched in 1978.
Modern Tweed: A compliment to Catwalk, modern tweed uses the same space-dyed yard to create a multi-colored and textural upholstery. Modern Tweed takes its inspiration from 1973’s Protea textile.
Pullman: A textile inspired by 1953’s Kerry Linen, Pullman is woven with chenille novelty yarn, which produces a soft allover texture.
In Stitches: Features thin vertical stripes available in a selection of either neon or classic shades on a heather gray background. The wool textile is inspired by 1953’s Nylon Homespun Pinstripe pattern.
Uni-form: A saturated colored basket weave fabric inspired by Knoll’s Toulouse, released in 1979. Available in 14 colors, Uni-form is made from 80 percent recycled polyester.
Stretch Appeal: The weave construction of Stretch Appeal, in tandem with its elastin content, allows the width to expand from 49 inches while relaxed to 54 inches stretched. Well-suited for curved or organic-shaped furniture pieces, the 10 available colors of Stretch Appeal are inspired by shades found in Knoll’s archives.
Cyclone: A winning design from a 1972 international student exhibition, Cyclone drapery fabric is reproduced for the Legacy Collection in four new colors in addition to the two original shades.
Looking Glass: A lightweight and airy knit drapery textile, Looking Glass is available in six colors and was inspired by 1957’s Fiberglass Casement and Wool Casement.
Hemisphere, Lanyard and Rope: All high-performance, non-Phthalate vinyl wallcoverings offer texture and design elements to walls in both neutral and bolder color options. Hemisphere is available in eight colors, while Lanyard and Rope are available in six color choices each.
Images courtesy of KnollTextiles