Cold winter weather can make it hard to want to get out of bed, but Wintervacht has answered our wish to stay wrapped up in blankets.
Two young Dutch designers are creating beautiful clothes from old blankets and curtains, giving new life to textiles that have otherwise lost their original purpose.
Yoni van Oorsouw and Manon van Hoeckel met in design school. They took sewing classes from van Oorsouw’s mother. At the time, van Hoeckel was living in a house without heating, and would sleep under three heavy old blankets. When her sewing teacher, van Oorsouw’s mother, suggested she make a jacket, she was inspired to use the blankets.
The first coat became the inspiration for a whole line of upcycled clothes. The two girls scour second hand shops to find their materials, and also visit the large sorting facilities where clothing and donated items are processed.
“We are always looking for high quality materials. That's why we sort out all the blankets and curtains by hand,” van Hoeckel told TreeHugger.
This approach to sourcing makes every piece unique. “We're always looking for nice prints, but luckily there are so many different blankets that it isn't hard to find them,” said van Hoeckel, because the Netherlands was one of the major blanket making countries in Europe. “Every factory had its own designers. Over time the patterns changed from flowery into more graphic.”
Wintervacht is collaborating with sorting facilities to explore what other materials could be used in the future. “We want to continue with making garments, but are also thinking about accessories,” said van Hoeckel. “This summer we're continuing our curtain collecting with a more advanced collection (like dresses and pants).”
Van Hoeckel said their designs are inspired by other brands using prints creatively, like Dent de Man or AFRIEK. “We also get a lot of inspiration by looking at pattern making books of the 1940's/1960’s.”