Pierre Cuypers and Christien Meindertsma
The Cuypershuis showcases the life and work of architect Pierre Cuypers in his former home and workshops. In addition, the Cuypershuis places Cuypers’ ideas in a contemporary context by telling stories from different perspectives and disciplines.

The designed environment based on the ideas of Cuypers is also the starting point for Onder de wol (Under the wool). This exhibition asks what role the designer can play in solving current problems and imagining the future.

As an architect, designer, interior designer and craftsman, Cuypers worked on creating a living environment that fitted within his ideals. His workshop served as a laboratory, in which he carried out the necessary material and form experiments to come up with new designs and products.

Christien Meindertsma, like Cuypers, is a pioneer, as a researcher and designer she is looking for solutions to pressing issues with her innovations. In doing so, she draws inspiration from the historical use of materials and new technologies.

A direct link between Meindertsma and Cuypers can be found in their development of building materials: Cuypers developed his ‘ideal’ brick and Meindertsma is looking for a renewed use of wool as an alternative building block and insulation material.

Christien Meindertsma
“The fact that a wonderful material is thrown away represents a challenge for me. As a designer and maker, I feel the urgency to participate in finding a solution. Historical uses and new technologies inspire me in this regard.”

Designer Christien Meindertsma (Utrecht, 1980) explores products and raw materials by immersing herself in them. With careful research and documentation, she reveals the lifespan, characteristics and production process – from the very beginning to the finished product. Central to this is the relationship of the product to the world we live in. The result of her research may lead to the recording of an actual process, and in other cases to commercial products.

Themes of local production and underused resources give direction to her work. By reintroducing processes that have become distant from us due to industrialisation, Meindertsma aims to encourage a deeper understanding of the materials and products that surround us.

Work by Meindertsma can be found in the collections of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), TextielMuseum (Tilburg), MoMA (New York), Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein). Her work has won the Dutch Design Award three times (2008) and been honoured with an Index award (2009) for PIG 05049. The Flax Chair won the Dutch Design Award and Future Award (2016), and was previously on display at the Cuypershuis when it was nominated for the Harrie Tillie Prize (2015).
Meindertsma graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2003.

Under the wool – Christien Meindertsma
Soft but also incredibly strong. Christien Meindertsma is mad about wool. Since graduating, she has been fascinated by wool as a material. It colours much more intensely than cotton, for example, but the magic of the production process also excites her: spinning, weaving, felting. As a result, from 2003 onwards, a series of projects were undertaken in which Meindertsma challenged herself to use the wool of a single sheep, including the One Sheep Sweater. In a project for the American NGO The Nature Conservancy, she worked on Idaho, a rug made from different woollen panels. Each panel was knitted with coarse knitting needles from the wool of one sheep.

But it couldn’t just be restricted to a single sheep, of course. In 2021, Meindertsma received a commission from the municipality of Rotterdam. The wool surplus from Martin Oosthoek’s city flock of sheep was being discarded and she was given the challenge of finding a better use for it. The research study, De Zachte Stad (The Soft City), brought Meindertsma to the UK and Ireland. There, unlike in the Netherlands, wool laundries, spinning mills and weaving mills can still be found. The Rotterdam wool proved to be of good quality after spinning, but with rough characteristics and therefore less suitable for making clothes. Based on the circular idea – how can you reuse all the materials – Meindertsma investigated the properties of wool to find out which high-quality products it could be used for. It turned out that the Dutch surplus could be processed into all kinds of wonderful products: blankets, jumpers, hats, furniture upholstery, car interiors, felt sound insulation, heat insulation, parts of musical instruments and so on.

During the research, Meindertsma made a discovery: how to use a machine to felt wool in 3D, without using water. This invention also makes it possible to make larger objects from wool. With the results of her research, Meindertsma has opened doors to innovative techniques and applications that first seemed impossible.

In Under the wool, you can see the run-up to and part of Meindertsma’s new research study, together with the first promising results, made from Roermond wool. These results could mean a great deal for shepherds now and in the future, but also for us as consumers. A traditionally well-known material is given a new look by applying contemporary, innovative technology. In this way, she is developing her own signature in the world of Dutch Design: creating new products from the historical context, which are produced locally using natural ingredients.

Under the wool shows that much more can be done with wool than people thought and expected. That there are many hidden stories concerning the material wool and the surplus, and many connections to be made between wool and our living world. The expressions Counting sheep and Onder de wol gaan (literally Going under the wool, which means Going to bed) will definitely take on another meaning after visiting this presentation.

Surplus wool (001)
Sheep farmers are at a loss for words – or rather wool. Since the 1970s, demand for Dutch wool has declined sharply and the farmers are no longer to dispose of the sheepskins, while it is necessary to shear a sheep. Sheep are kept in the Netherlands for milk, meat or grazing. Shearing the sheep is of minor importance and the resulting wool is hardly used at all. This is partly because the quality of Dutch wool is not considered good enough for making clothes by the textile industry. Since the rise of synthetic materials, very little wool has been used. There are also no longer any facilities for washing or processing wool in the Netherlands, due to strict regulations. Dutch wool used to go to China, but since the Covid-19 crisis, transport costs to China have become too high. This had led to a surplus of wool that has left sheep farmers with their wool.

Of the 1.5 million kilos of wool produced annually by Dutch sheep, most is burnt, even though the material is suitable for a multitude of purposes. For example, wool is fire-retardant, reduces vibrations, dampens noise, insulates well and lasts a very long time. The wool problem has been around for a long time, but is only now gaining publicity and showing a turnaround.

Solutions to the wool surplus
The Dutch wool surplus has got many people thinking in recent years. Because the wool quality is (or was) not as good compared to, say, merino wool, sheep farmers started selectively breeding sheep. So now more and more sheep are providing high-quality wool. This wool is therefore more likely to be sold to make clothes. An increasing number of product developers and designers are currently coming up with new applications for using wool, besides for clothing. In fact, the material has good properties: it regulates temperature and moisture, and it is biodegradable. For example, unwashed wool is used as fertiliser (wool manure), processed wool is used as a filling for duvets and research is being carried out into wool as an insulation material. The latter is not a new discovery, but an old application that can be used in a new way due to technological developments.

Using sheep to manage the landscape
Nature conservation using sheep has never completely disappeared, but has been gaining popularity in recent years. Environmental conservation organizations, municipalities and Regional Water Authoritiesare increasingly combining the useful and recreational by utilising a natural approach when managing nature reserves, public green spaces and dykes. The deployment of a migratory flock of sheep fits in well with this approach.

From a business point of view, grazing by sheep is an interesting option. The cost of mowing and removal, depending on the terrain, is significantly higher than that of grazing. Especially in areas that are difficult to navigate or reach, sheep can manage well and better results can be achieved with grazing. Sheep grazing has a positive effect on biodiversity and makes the ecosystem more diverse. The grazing helps keep areas with excessive vegetation, for instance bramble bushes, wild black cherry and grasses, more open. This means that other plants, including wildflowers and herbs, are given more room to grow, which creates an attractive area for a variety of animal species, such as small mammals and birds.

Apart from being a ‘mower’, the sheep is also a ‘sower’. Through their coats, hooves and dung, sheep transport the seeds of plants and herbs from one area to another. Researchers have previously counted thousands of seeds, fruits, and parts of plants in the wool of a sheep. In the droppings, they found 273 seedlings of 27 flowering plants. Another 48 seeds of species of flowering plants were found in soil between the claws. A migratory flock of sheep is capable of spreading seeds over an area of between 5 to 10 kilometres. In this way, the species spread from one area to another, thus forming an ecological ribbon. This fits perfectly with the aim of restoring green corridors, a key priority in Dutch nature-conservation policy.

Sheep are ruminant hoofed mammals belonging to the genus Ovis, which also includes the mouflon and bighorn sheep. These originally wild species spread from the mountainous regions of central Asia across southern Europe, North Africa and western North America. Sheep have been domesticated in the Middle East since around 7500 BC. The first sheep appeared in the Netherlands and Belgium about 5000 BC. They were and still are kept for wool, meat, manure and milk.

Sheep live in flocks. They are vulnerable and slow and have little or no means to defend themselves against wild animals. A lost sheep is soon doomed to die. Domesticated sheep are entirely dependent on the guidance of a shepherd, who is often accompanied by dogs trained to herd and protect the flock.

The domestic sheep originally looked different from the sheep we know today. They were animals with natural moulting and hair instead of wool. These first domestic sheep evolved from the wild sheep. We can compare them in appearance to the European mouflon, a small wild sheep that lives in De Hoge Veluwe national park, among other places. The first keepers of sheep discovered that you could process the fleece into yarn and clothing. For this reason, people started selecting the animals with the thickest coats, and the original sheep with hair evolved into a sheep with wool. Traditionally, sheep have provided us with warmth, in the form of woollen clothing and blankets. The lanolin from the wool is very nourishing for the skin and was used in the past as lamp oil as well. So the sheep is historically an interesting animal that belongs in our lives. On top of that, sheep can live in areas that are difficult to access or unsuitable for farming. This is one of the reasons why sheep are now frequently utilised for landscape management.

Kempische Heideschaap (Kempen Heath Sheep) (002)
Around 900 breeds of sheep exist worldwide. Each breed has its own specific appearance and character traits. The Netherlands has a number of popular breeds: Texelaar, Swifter, Flevolander, Noordhollander, Blauwe Texelaar, Zwartbles, Drents Heideschaap, Schoonebeeker, Veluws Heideschaap, Fries-Zeeuws dairy sheep, Mergellandschaap and the Kempische Heideschaap. The latter breed is active in the Central Limburg region.

The Kempische Heideschaap is a medium-sized sheep. It belongs to the group of large heath sheep, and has traditionally been known and kept for its meat. It is suitable for managing heathland vegetation and sparse grasslands. It stands high on its legs, has a long back and a stately appearance. The neck is long and is carried in an extended position. Adult ewes weigh between 45 and 65 kg. Kempische Heideschapen give birth to one or two lambs at a time on average.

The head is long, narrow, without wool, but with shiny hair growing to behind the ears. Like the legs, the head is usually entirely white in colour, but sometimes brown or speckled. The ewes are always unhorned, the rams usually are as well.

The wool of the Kempische Heideschaap is almost entirely white, fairly fine, shorter and finer than that of the Veluwse Heideschaap and the Mergellandschaap; there is also no parting in it. The wool yield averages 3 kg per sheep.

In addition, the Kempische Heideschaap is an easy sheep. Assistance with birthing is rarely needed and maternal characteristics are well developed. The animals have strong legs and are able to live and walk on relatively difficult terrain for long periods of time. The flocking instinct is well developed, making flocks in the field easier to herd and control.

For centuries, heathland sheep were kept in the Dutch and Belgian Kempen region mainly for their dung. Over the centuries, the grazing activities of – especially – the large numbers of sheep formed vast, virtually treeless heathlands with very special, and often fragile, flora and fauna. Parallel to this landscape formation, a type of sheep developed in the Kempen that was specifically adapted to the sparse and often harsh living conditions on the heath. The Kempische Heideschaap is therefore a hardy breed. It copes very well with a meagre diet of heather, hard grass and the weeds in the fields that the animals grazed on after the grain harvest. The Kempische Heideschaap is at its best when controlling woody plants such as birch, alder and rowan. Even nettles and field thistles are tackled. In addition, heathland sheep appear to be less susceptible to the toxins in the encroaching ragwort. Mowing and post-grazing with Kempische Heideschapen is a good management method to keep this plant under control. On the basis of these characteristics, the Kempische Heideschaap is still in the 21st century the best manager of the rare heathland flora and fauna in our scarce heathland reserves.
Source: www.kempischeheideschaap.nl

Flocks of sheep in Roermond
Several flocks of sheep are active in Roermond and the surrounding area. From its base at the Beatrixhoeve, De Wassum regulates grazing in Northern and Central Limburg. De Wassum Landscape Management has been involved in the deployment of flocks of sheep for managing natural green spaces since 1988. In addition to deploying its own flocks, De Wassum works with Stichting Het Kempisch Heideschaap to maintain nature reserves in Eastern Brabant. In addition to De Wassum, sheep from Landschapsbeheer ‘t Mögkebrook are also active in the municipalities of Roermond, Beesel and Reuver. These sheep are mainly utilised for urban grazing.

Rug (003)
The map of De Meinweg National Park in transition, the grazing area of the Kempische Heideschaap, was converted into a 3D file. This 3D file was then turned into a tapestry by CSrugs in Asten. Due to the special method of tufting, the carpet has ‘height differences’ due to different material thicknesses. These height differences indicate the places where sheep are used for nature conservation. Together with a team of experts, Meindertsma developed a new technique to tuft the rug onto a woollen ground cloth, woven by Enschede Textielstad. This is an innovation because up until now, work was always done on a polyester underlay. According to Meindertsma, the rug is not an artwork, but a material trial. CSrugs possesses and shares knowledge about making rugs, and the factory is a unique blend of high-tech machinery and craft. The CNC and CAD CAM-controlled robots operate with the utmost precision and offer endless size and shape possibilities. Squares, rectangles, circles, ovals and even organic shapes are possible.
The rug is made with wool from the Kempische Heideschaap.

De Meinweg National Park in transition (004)
De Meinweg is a piece of nature about 1,800 hectares in size. It lies in the easternmost corner of Central Limburg and is surrounded on three sides by Germany. Due to centuries-old use of these lands, De Meinweg has a long history. The name ‘Meinweg’ originates from the Celtic word ‘gemeyne’, which means ‘common’ or ‘together’. They were the ‘communal meadows’ of the 14 villages that governed and used the area. Of these places, six are now in the Netherlands – Vlodrop, Herkenbosch, Melick, Maasniel, Herten and Roermond – and eight are in Germany: Wassenberg, Birgelen, Effeld, Nieder- en Oberkrüchten, Arsbeck, Ophoven, Karken and Steinkirchen. People used the area for felling trees, collecting floor covering for the stables, mowing, cutting peat as a surface for the animals in stables and sheepfolds and burning the heathland. As a result, the oak and beech forests disappeared, leaving only bare heathland. Until the end of the 18th century, the area was used communally.

De Meinweg National Park in transition is of great geological significance, due to its terraced landscape, unique in the Netherlands, with three steep transitions between the terraces. These were created by erosion of sediments deposited by the Rhine and Maas rivers in the distant past as well as by shifts in the earth’s crust. The total height difference between the three terraces is 50 metres. The Roer valley is situated 30 metres above NAP (the equivalent of sea level). and the Beatrix plateau is 80 metres above NAP. Square to the terraces, two stream valleys were formed: the Boschbeek and Roode Beek valleys. Between these streams and stream valleys there are quiet little fens and extensive forests and heathlands. These days, there is once again an adder population.

De Meinweg National Park is currently in transition. The area will be expanded to the Swalmdal (north) and the Roerdal (south) and the terraces on the western bank of the Maas, the Beegder- and Hornerheide. The Maas terraces form the framework for this with its correspsonding unique natural, landscape and cultural-historical values. Expanding the area gives more parties the opportunity to commit themselves to this special landscape.

To preserve the characteristic nature of De Meinweg and stimulate biodiversity, sheep are also frequently deployed here for landscape management. The sheep flocks walk from the Bosheide in Swalmen, via the gas pipeline strip on the Bosstraat through the Swalm valley towards the Beatrixhoeve near the German border/N280. From there the flocks set out along the border to the south and graze nature reserves 'Het Veen'. Another flocks continues towards the Luzenkamp, the Melickerheide and eventually reaches the heathlands on the Meinweg via the Iron Rhine. Without grazing, the National Park would not be what it is today.
Source: www.natuurparkenlimburg.nl

From research to research (005)
Characteristic of Meindertsma’s oeuvre is her specific way of conducting research: capturing the process rather than focusing on an end product. Her way of designing, her relentless curiosity and enthusiasm, and her idealism have allowed her to develop a distinct signature of her own. Wool is the common thread in her work, a fascination that arose during her studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven.

All the projects are connected in one way or another. Sometimes they are related in terms of subject matter, while other times new projects emerge from previous discoveries. For instance, Under the wool is a continuation of the research she started during The Soft City in Rotterdam. But it also incorporates innovations from Fibre Market, Design Museum London. During the development of Under the wool, many conversations were held with Meindertsma. She is someone who sees opportunities everywhere and is inspired over and over again.

The One sheep project, which used the wool from a single sheep to knit a garment, is the basis for the innovations Meindertsma is currently working on. And during those innovations, new ‘research requirements’ also come to the surface. Following on from the award-winning project PIG 05049, she would also like in the future to explore further what happens to a dead sheep. The PIG project garnered international attention and resulted in a book, an exhibition and a series of lectures. For three years, she researched all the derivative products that come from pigs. The book is a collection of photographs of all the derivatives from a single anonymous pig. An unexpected discovery was that slaughterhouse remains of pigs were used as raw materials in products such as ammunition, medicines, photographic paper, chewing gum and porcelain.

Intensive work with several shepherds gave rise to the idea of following a sheep from birth to death and exploring what happens to it afterwards. During the preparations for Under the wool, Meindertsma made a small start on the project. It turned out, for example, that the remains of a sheep are also used in a wide variety of products. She discovered that oil is made from bone meal and that this oil can be reprocessed to produce energy, just like petroleum. She also came across a historical use: sheep intestines are made into strings for musical instruments, such as violins and cellos. The stomach is used as material for drum skins.

Musical instruments bring us back to wool. Because wool is also used in musical instruments, for instance in a piano and drumsticks. This wool must be processed and felted in a specific way. This technique triggered Meindertsma. The applications are surprising. For instance, apart from developing the 3D printer, she is also developing a block machine that can produce a new material, ‘wolschuim’, which literally means ‘wool foam’. With this machine, the wool can be processed to create solid blocks that could perhaps be used as ‘wool bricks’ in future house construction.

From research to product (006)
Christien Meindertsma is a true pioneer. Her motivation is to develop new applications of materials: as semi-finished products, but certainly also as finished products. She makes material samples and prototypes from different qualities of wool. She often does this together with various experts and companies. So she is always busy ‘inventing’. But an invention takes time to find its way to interested parties. It usually takes years for a product to roll out. Meindertsma is regularly asked the ‘revenue-model question’. Fortunately, a surprisingly large number of companies are open to a creative idea. “That's typically Dutch, passing stuff on and seeing how you can earn something from it. It would be good if, as a result of the research, something emerges that can support itself financially. I think that in particular woollen carpets and rugs, furniture fabrics and wool in furniture, and wool as insulation material stand a good chance.” She would like to continue playing an active role herself, preferably together with commercial parties. “All kinds of companies participated in the experiments with enthusiasm and dedication. The added value really comes from that collaboration. And in innovation, that remains crucial. In collaboration with CSrugs and Gelderland meubelen, we are working on the first real products.”

Through a keen interest in the origins of products, their processing and sustainability, Meindertsma demonstrates that design is not just designing a product. It is also taking a critical look at our entrenched way of consuming. Design disrupts those patterns with a positive new outlook. House construction, the climate crisis and scarcity of resources are driving a growing demand for bio-based building products, preferably made from the most local raw materials possible. Wool offers opportunities for a high-value application with perhaps an interesting revenue model. The Dinamo Fonds (The Hague) has provided Meindertsma with a grant to develop a ‘block-felting machine’. She is doing that in collaboration with Havivank B.V. (Tilburg). Utilising natural materials involves several challenges. For example, businesses and consumers need to accept that due to the nature of wool, no two products can be the same. Meindertsma wants to help change that mindset. One of the ways she wants to do this is by helping to rebuild the wool network in the Netherlands. Bringing wool washers back in contact with sheep farmers, for example, creates an exchange of knowledge and experience. This increases the quality and ultimately the value of wool.

Urchin Pouf (007)
The Urchin pouf, a design from 2008, is made from wool sliver and hand-knitted. Wool was washed, carded and then combed into a sliver. Meindertsma subsequently felted the sliver and used it as knitting yarn. Initially, the pouf was made from wool from New Zealand sheep, but later using wool from Dutch sheep. This wool was washed and processed in Verviers (B) and can be seen in the film Journey of a sheep’s fleece by Roel van Tour. The use of felted wool sliver in the Urchin pouf inspired Meindertsma to develop its application further towards 3D printing.

Fiber Market (008)
Fibre Market (2017) is a research project investigating the potential of the fibre-sorting machine developed by Wieland Textiles (Wormerveer) and Valvan Baling Systems (Menen, B). The machine can scan and sort clothes based on the material. What was once an inefficient and difficult process, dependent on feeling and seeing, can now be done efficiently and quickly. For the exhibition Fear and love at the Design Museum in London, 1,000 woollen jumpers were scanned and sorted. Meindertsma then compared the scanner results with the information on the product labels, which often revealed inaccuracies. After sorting, the jumpers were shredded into fibres, ready to be made into yarn or fabrics, for example.

The project The Soft City (2021) is a follow-up to the Fibre Market study. Coming up with a solution to Rotterdam’s wool surplus (about 5,000 kg a year) was the assignment the municipality of Rotterdam gave Christien Meindertsma. She investigated what the wool could be used for, and how. To make the available wool usable for clothing in particular, the quality and softness had to increase. Based on experience gained in the Fibre Market research, she collected woollen jumpers from second-hand shops in Rotterdam. After these jumpers were shredded into fibres, they were added to the Rotterdam wool. This was then used to make yarns and various types of fabrics with coloured speckles, which she in turn used to knit and sew garments. During the project The Soft City, Meindertsma discovered how she could felt wool, without water, mechanically and in three dimensions.

3D printing (009)
A 3D printer can produce a tangible, three-dimensional object based on a digital construction drawing. This is done by building up the object layer by layer. Typically, plastic is used as a printing material because it is relatively cheap and can be easily manipulated. Some 3D printers can be used to work with metals and ceramics. Most 3D printers have a movable nozzle, which ejects a semi-liquid material. The nozzle can move in all directions, allowing it to build up an object layer by layer with great precision. During printing, rapid melting and hardening processes take place to shape the material. A 3D printer uses instructions from a digital model using special software, often employing computer-aided design (CAD). 3D printing is utilised in industry, model-making, prototype research, experimental medicine and the manufacture of new tools. 3D printing has also found its way into the visual arts and spatial design.
Source: Wikipedia

3D printing with wool – Cobot (010)
Wool has long been machine-processed into clothing, felt, blankets, fabrics and other versatile applications. Yet there is still an unexplored area in terms of the industrial applicability of wool: that of the three-dimensional ‘free form’. In theory, a 3D printer can use a digital file to print every possible shape with liquid material (e.g. plastic or metal). However, wool is not liquid and is normally felted using water. Meindertsma devised a process, in collaboration with programmers and engineers, that allows dry wool to be used for printing. To achieve this innovation, she carried out numerous felt trials to investigate the material for aspects such as strength and workability. And it turned out that wool is soft and extremely strong and can be processed into a hard and workable material. It is a result that professionals did not think possible.

With the deployment of the 3D printer, the possibilities for processing wool have become innumerable. The primal material can be processed without additives into, for example, an insulation shield for the inside of a building, made to shape and size. But it can also print a very thin woollen fleece jumper. Or the inside of a sofa or chair.

3D printing with wool still requires further refinement. The presentation of this new technique during Under the wool is an opportunity to draw attention to it and continue its development. Printing with a robotic arm, incidentally, also offers the possibility to develop a personal signature: the arm can be programmed to learn human movements.

The outline of the large house shows the movement of the printer. Layer by layer, the printer builds up the digital drawing. The scale model, made by hand, shows the final result: a sturdy, solid object with the characteristic soft feel of wool.

Felt bricks (011)
The felt bricks are a residual product. They are created during the manufacturing of piano felt. This residual product was the trigger for Meindertsma to develop the new material ‘wolschuim’. The hardness of the material and its organic form inspired her in turn to carry out new form experiments.

Piano Key (012)
What does a piano key have to do with Christien Meindertsma’s research? A lot of felt is used in a piano: saddle felt, damper felt, catch felt, hammer frame felt, backrail felt and hammer head felt*. Meindertsma unravelled this felt and found that part of it is an extremely strong composite material (made up of different components). This prompted a further unravelling of the making process of the piano felt and the start of experimentation. In collaboration with piano technician Rick Cox, and after many trials and industrial tests, Meindertsma succeeded in developing a block of felt called ‘wolschuim’ (wool foam) that is so strong and solid that it can be sawn and milled. The ‘wolschuim’, if further developed, could be used in the future in, for example, the furniture industry or even made into ‘building blocks’. This is now being worked on.

*In a piano or grand piano mechanism, there are many parts, all rotating and rubbing along and against each other. The contact points consist mostly of felt and leather for silent operation. Hammer heads hit the strings to produce the piano tone. This causes them to wear, and the felt becomes crushed and therefore hard. The result is an unpleasant tone.

Terms – alphabetical order

  • Carded fleece: an ‘airy blanket’ of wool that comes from the carding machine: this wool is used for felting or as filling for a duvet.
  • Carding: treating wool on a carding machine where all the fibres are pulled in one direction and preparing it for spinning.
  • Cloth: thin woollen fabric, first woven and then felted. It was used to make clothes, for example. Roermond was one of the oldest worsted-cloth cities in what is now the Netherlands.
  • Combing: the purpose of combing wool is to get the wool fibres lying parallel and to rid them of irregularities. It also removes the shorter fibres – kemp.
  • Kemp: sheep have both wool and hair on their skin. Kemp are short, rough and brittle hairs that lie at the top of the fleece.
  • Needle felting: a special felting needle is used to pierce the wool. Along the shaft of the felting needle there are notches, which catch the wool fibres and hook them into other wool fibres. When the needle is pulled out, the pierced shape remains. In this way, different shapes can be made.
  • Scouring: before the wool can be processed, it needs to be washed to remove grease and ‘bits and pieces’.
  • Skein: bundle of wool. A skein can be wound into a ball of wool.
  • Spinning: twisting loose fibres into yarn.
  • Twining: twisting two or more threads of yarn around each other to create a stronger and thicker yarn.
  • Wet felting: a technique in which you connect loose tufts of wool by friction using water and soap; the scales of the wool then interlock.
  • Wool sliver: wool that has been washed, carded and then combed into a sliver: this wool is used for spinning.

Wool processing
When the sheep is shorn, the biggest contaminants (straw, dung, twigs, etc.) are removed from the fleece. The wool is scoured: washed in large tanks of water with soap (sometimes organic) and then left to dry. During scouring, the wool fibres have started to hook together; these are loosened again in the picker. This machine does a good job of untangling the wool. The loose wool is then carded: the carding machine combs the wool so that all the hairs lie in the same direction. It is possible to make carded fleece or wool sliver. Carded fleece is used for felting and to fill duvets, for example. Wool sliver is widely used by hand spinners. Coming out of the carding machine, the sliver may be irregular and therefore have weak spots. This is not a problem for hand spinners, as they can always adjust the input feed with their hands while spinning. A spinning machine cannot fix these irregularities or weakspots,but the pin-drafter can. Multiple slivers are inserted simultaneously and the machine combs the slivers. In this way, the breaking points and weak spots are distributed and the thicker pieces levelled out. The result is a strong, even sliver. The sliver is turned into yarn using the spinning machine. This machine can spin as well as twine. It is possible to make a two, three or four-ply twisted yarn. The twisted yarn then goes to the stranding machine. This machine can join together several spools at a time to make strands.
Source: www.alleswol.nl

This project was initiated by guest curator Noëlle Kemmerling and developed together with Christien Meinderstma and Nadine Gouders, curator Cuypershuis

Text: Noëlle Kemmerling
Editing: Annemieke Broeke, Nadine Gouders, Rannilt Pol, Brigitte Rutten
Communication: Charlotte Janssen-Biermans
Education: Nicole Geilen-Olislagers
Graphic design: Studio Eikenhorst
Film maker and photographer: Roel van Tour
Art handling: Ralf Nevels, Jeroen Evertz, Michael Klinkenberg
AV: Tim van Elferen
Poem: Lena Claessen
Translation: Christine Gardner
With thanks to all Cuypershuis staff: Marjolein van Atteveld, Annemieke Broeke, Veerle van Esser, Carla Klaver, Dani Stroeken, Kelly Wouters

 With special thanks to:
Johan Arts, Bosgroep Zuid Nederland
Nationaal Park de Meinweg in transitie
Sjraar van Beek, De Wassum
Paul Kant, Ons WCL
Bas Thomissen
CSrugs, Asten
Havivank B.V., Tilburg
Starling Associates B.V., Asten
Doosan Robotics, Zuid-Korea
Tools for Technology, Asten
Dinamo Fonds
Stichting DOEN
Rotterdam Circulair
Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie
Schaapskooi Mergelland, Epen

Ontwerp zonder titel (5).jpg