The TextielLab is the bustling centre of the museum, where makers, product developers and curators collaborate on remarkable textile projects. In this modern workshop, craftsmanship is fostered and developed.
At the heart of a former textile factory, where steam-powered looms and spinning machines once stood, the lab’s computer-controlled equipment now produces highly innovative work. Supported by the knowledge and expertise of our product developers, technical experts, librarians and curators, makers can realise ground-breaking projects. Choose from a traditional gimp machine, modern flat and circular knitting machines, a loom at least 3.5 metres wide and much more. The lab has everything you need for manual and mechanical weaving, knitting, embroidery, tufting, laser cutting and passementerie.
Knowledge institute and development space
The TextielLab is a knowledge institute and development space in one. Surrounded by an inspiring museum collection, the largest specialist library in Europe and an extensive Sample Studio, young talents and established makers are given the time and space to experiment with materials and techniques in a setting that is unlike anywhere else in the textile industry. The TextielLab is the leading place in Europe for developing prototypes, autonomous works and exclusive productions. National and international students come here to work on their graduation projects, fashion designers develop fabrics for their next collection, interior architects test innovative textile applications and artists work on their latest creations. Knowledge sharing is a key part of everything we do. What you learn in the lab will benefit the rest of your career. What you make here will reach a large audience.
Photo: Tommy de Lange
Co-creation with experts
In the lab, makers and specialists literally work side by side at the machines. Works are co-created with the product developers, who contribute a wealth of knowledge and experience. They provide advice on techniques, materials and applications, programme the machines and act as project managers. Meanwhile, our curators help designers gain access to the creative and commercial industries and the museum world. We have an extensive international network of museums and textile companies, which we are happy to make available to our makers. We regularly act as a broker and intermediary between artists and clients, ensuring that promising projects get noticed.
Makers can apply to work in the TextielLab by submitting a project proposal. The lab is open to museum visitors, who can watch the development process live. The museum also regularly invites designers, architects and artists to experiment in the lab. Their design process and the resulting products are exhibited in the museum and added to the museum collection. For its own label, ‘by TextielMuseum’, the museum commissions contemporary interior textiles. These are sold in the TextielShop, webshop and selected outlets in the Netherlands and abroad. For long-term R&D projects in the TextielLab, we collaborate with makers and companies on social issues such as sustainability, technological innovations and healthcare.
A bright future
In 2021, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science recognised the TextielLab as a development institution and granted an annual subsidy for several of its programmes. This financial support from the government will ensure the TextielLab can continue to develop and grow in the coming years. We are already investing in new machines, increasing capacity and strengthening our research and knowledge sharing. We are also digitising our work processes and creating additional talent development programmes. In 2022/2023, we will open our new ProjectSpace, which will display projects from the TextielLab and the latest developments in the textile industry.