Sustainability: weaving and dyeing with plants

Experience the online TextielMuseum

In the series #madeinthetextiellab we highlight the most inspiring textile projects that have been developed in the TextielLab over the years, mostly in commission of the TextielMuseum. Today will be about sustainability, as we’re highlighting the work ‘Fibres, bindings and dye plants’ by artist Nan Groot Antink, which is part of the museum’s collection. 

Since 1990, Nan Groot Antink (1954) has focused on using natural dyes from native and foreign plants. She applies the dyes like a painter uses paint and is inspired in her choice of plants by her cultural and natural environment. For this work, she selected seven dye plants based on the original vegetation that would have grown on the museum’s site, prior to the current building. Together with the weaving experts of the TextielLab, Nan Groot Antink selected a number of natural yarns to weave fabrics that are suitable for her labour-intensive dyeing method.

Making process


Fibres, bindings and natural dye plants are the three defining components of the installation that Nan Groot Antink made for our collection. She used natural yarns such as seaweed, bamboo, hemp, paper, organic cotton, and linen to weave multiple fabrics in the TextielLab with different bindings. The artist consulted our museum library for the dyeing process of her fabrics. She found old dye recipes from the 19th-century that contained urine as a fixative and decided to use them. She dyed each fabric with a different colour from natural dye plants such as field horsetail, juniper berry, birch, sorrel, buckthorn, heather, and tansy. Nan Groot Antink’s installation was on display in the TextielMuseum in 2016-2017.⁠⠀


On show

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