Kristine Bjaadal’s Underskog Fabric Makes Textiles Immortal

It’s true what designer Kristine Bjaadal says, “We appreciate aging of wood, stone and leather, and call it patina. But textiles, on the other hand, we throw away as soon as the first thread breaks.” Bjaadal’s answer to the rejection of threadbare fabric is Underskog, a velvet-satin blended upholstery that, over time, reveals a deeper truth.

Underskog Fabric. Designed by Kristine Bjaadal. Prototype Woven by Siri Espeseth.

Kristine Bjaadal’s Underskog Fabric Turns Aging Textiles Into Revelatory Works of Art

Underskog Fabric. Designed by Kristine Bjaadal. Prototype Woven by Siri Espeseth.

To Bjaadal’s list of entities that get better with age I might also add blue jeans and fine wine, thus demonstrating that improvement with age is a definitive marker of life’s finer things. And there can be no doubt that the designer’s Underskog Fabric is jockeying for a position among them.

The prototype of the concept is a rich blue velvet that—through the passage of 1000+ derrieres—imperceptibly wears away to unveil a deep satin etching of a comely floral pattern: “This way the user will influence the furniture’s appearance over time, and the wear will be connected to personal memories.”

Bjaadal and collaborator/weaver Siri Espeseth have condensed and memorialized this gradual wearing away in this video, thus giving prospective users a time-defying glimpse into the process.

While it’s quite captivating to witness the textile’s simultaneous disappearance and re-birth, it would be even more intriguing to see it happen first hand and in one’s very own living room, via the multiple passings-by, brushings-over, and sittings-upon that make it earned, as it were—very like the life stories inhering in a favored pair of blue jeans, or a treasured leather jacket.

About the Designer: Some time back 3rings readers got a first glimpse of the prodigious prestidigitations of Kristine Bjaadal’s wonderful Underfull Tablecloth. This year, she’s back with a new species of sleight of hand, the innovative Underskog Fabric. The two pieces characterize the ethos of Bjaadal, a young designer based in Oslo who loves to incorporate hidden pleasures into her work: “everyday negative situations, like wear and tear or spilling red wine all over the tablecloth, are turned into something positive.”

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