Urchin Poufs are Hand-Knit by Dutch Designer

urchin pouf photo

Image from flocks

Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma is a bit of an obsessive personality. She is very very interested in "the products we consume and the materials they are made of". To that end she spends years researching every aspect of the material that she is working with.

These large and comfy looking poufs would be perfect for watching t.v. or a child's room. They are hand-knit from New Zealand wool. The colour is vegetable dye: indigo, wauw, meekrap - all plants- and cochenille are added to the existing wool creating bright blue, yellow, red and pink.

christine knits photo

Image from paperstichblog
Christien Meindertsma is Dutch and has that quirky dutch aspect to her work. She has always been fascinated by wool. Her first projects consisted of working with farmers to create garments from individual animals so the wool of one sheep is used for the creation of one cardigan, and the fur of one rabbit is used for one pair of mittens... She is very interested in where things come from; the provenance of each animal is noted on a tag and attached to the final product.

She knits the poufs on needles that look to be the size of broomsticks, and it takes 6 weeks to create one pouf. The wool comes from New Zealand because Dutch wool was not good enough. Dutch sheep are raised to be killed for meat. As she says: "It's not that Dutch wool is any better, but it seems ridiculous to go to the other side of the world for a material that could just as easily be sourced locally." She has now found people to spin the wool from Holland and is in the process of switching production to the local wool.

pig book photo

Image from flocks

Her previous project, PIG 05049 was part of the Brit Insurance Design Awards this year. She spent three years researching all the products made from a single pig. Amongst some of the more unexpected results were: ammunition, medicine, photo paper, heart valves, brakes, chewing gum, porcelain, cosmetics, cigarettes, conditioner and even bio diesel. These were all incorporated into a book, covered with pig skin of course, thousands of which were sold.

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