A Sneak Peek: What’s Old Is New Again

KNOLLMIX Today, KnollTextiles offered the press an extremely sneak peek of its four new introductions to the Archival Collection. Originally launched two years ago to coincide with KnollTextiles' 60th anniversary, the Archival Collection pays homage to the fabrics created by Florence Knoll herself in the mid-20th century. Dorothy Cosonas, creative director at KnollTextiles, took a dive into the company archives and this time emerged with fresh takes on two upholsteries and two draperies. What's amazing is how just a few tweaks and reinterpretation of color—a definite strong suit of Cosonas—can make make a 50-plus-year-old fabric prevalent for today's market. 

Cosonas translated Florence Knoll's 1953 upholstery Plain Linen by combining a dry linen ground with a top coat of color (97 percent linen with 3 percent polyurethane on the face) to allow it to exceed 100,000 double rubs for today's contract industry. The classic Cornaro line (1974-1978) combined flecks of white in its solid ground, and Cosonas updated this fabric as a piece-dyed textured solid (75 percent wool, 20 percent silk, and 5 percent nylon) in which the silk offers tonal contrast. 

Both new drapery textiles offer such a delicate hand that they beg to be touched. Quartet, originally designed by KnollTextile contributer Suzanne Huguenin in 1963, is a repeat of four, 1-ft. wide bands of color, 118 in. in height and available in four colorways. Made of 100-percent Trevira CS polyester, the drape gently moves to diffuse light, as it currently hangs in Knoll's showroom. And Nova rhaps can be considered the most literal translation, as it is identical in scale to the original pattern designed by Wolf Bauer in 1969, but now is printed o 10 percent Trevira CS Polyester, 56 in. wide. Clearly reflecting flower power of the '60s, Nova in anticipated to be just as popular today as it offers the industry an atypical floral with broad commercial design appeal.

On one of the first truly perfect spring days in New York City, it was quite a treat to take a break from the pre-NeoCon® craze to visit the grandiose Knoll showroom with sightlines clear across the city and step back in time with the folks from KnollTextiles. Be sure to catch the new introductions to the Archival Collection at its official launch at NeoCon®, Knoll showroom no. 1111.

Pictured top to bottom: Cornaro, Quartet, Plain Linen, and Nova

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