Fabrics created for the Project Papermoon collections by textile designer Grethe Wittrock and made into sculptural paper clothing by fashion designer Ann Schmidt-Christensen.

Grethe Wittrock continues the tradition of working with paper and has exploited various methods of construction and surface treatment. She hand weaves and machine knits finely slit paper yarn to create stable structures which are lightweight, translucent, have a soft, ethereal quality and create a wonderful “rustling” sound when worn. Surface treatments include the use of heat-reactive dyes, silk-screen printing and perforation.

Paper can possess many different characters in terms of look, touch and performance. It can be flexible, sensual, fluid and draped when knitted and when tightly woven it can be stiff, crisp and hold definite folds or a shape. The paper cloth is a completely natural product, it does not fray, so edges and seams do not require finishing, and it is strong, provides insulation, is stain resistant, recyclable and can be washed ( 30 degrees ) and even ironed. In the Jeune Couture collection paper yarn is woven with mohair and wool to create beautiful garments which are simultaneously experimental and sophisticated.

Ann Schmidt-Christensen takes the paper fabrics created by Grethe Wittrock and works with it to make minimal, elegant shapes which pay homage to the kimono where the width of the fabric determines the proportions of the garment. The shape is pared down to its essence, showing off the paper fabric to the maximum and illustrating this design duo’s complete understanding of their chosen material.

Simplicity, purity and a respect for materials is intrinsic to Japanese craft and their work links East and West by celebrating the inherent properties of paper ( some areas are softly translucent, and overlaid areas exploit varying opacities ) and accurately balancing material, technique and form. The geometric cutting often resembles origami and contrasts well with the human form.

Sarah E. Braddock
Textile Lecturer , Writer and Curator