Turkish red & more: why a librarian loves this exhibition

Turkish red & more: why a librarian loves this exhibition

By: Jantiene van Elk

As a librarian I want to share books from the library collection and the knowledge and beauty they contain with as many people as possible. So to me it’s special when these books are used to develop new products by designers. Showing the books used by the designers in the exhibition Turkish red & more, gives them another meaning. The books no longer are information sources, but also inspiration sources and beautiful objects. To me, old books always are beautiful objects, and now our visitors can see that as well.


Boaz Cohen (1978) and Sayaka Yamamoto (1984) are the Eindhoven-based design studio BCXSY. They are fascinated by the relationship between old and new, and between traditional and avant-garde. The traditional, richly laid dining table and the festive feeling that it evokes, is the starting point for their ‘New Perspectives’ project. Motifs such as artichokes, fish and shellfish, derived from the lavish spreads depicted in 17th-century still lives, were embroidered onto pristine white table linen using a computer-controlled embroidery machine.

Antique, hand-embroidered table linen or bedding, sometimes decorated with openwork patterns and elegant monograms, found in the museum collection, were sources of inspiration. In the library there is a collection of craft books from the early 20th century, with the type of embroidery which inspired Boaz and Sayaka. Here you can see some pictures from these books.

The designers even embroidered individual monograms, allowing users to mark and personalise their table linen, as was customary with damask.

Photo: BCXSY, table linen 'New Perspectives' (detail) embroidered in the TextielLab collection TextielMuseum, Tommy Fotografie