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Textile, Felt Lace X-Change

This is a Textile. It is dated 2008 and we acquired it in 2010. Its medium is merino wool and its technique is two intercrossed plain weave structures (double cloth), fulled and hand-cut. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Felt Lace X-Change is a collaboration between designer Paula Verbee-Cowart and Oriole Mill.
Oriole Mill was founded by Bethanne Knudson and Stephan Michelson in Hendersonville, North Carolina, in 2006. The mill offers custom woven and designed textiles with a focus on quality, rather than quantity and speed, in the production process. Oriole Mill is dedicated to making the finest jacquard and dobby fabrics from natural fibers and ultimately hopes to lead a resurgence of small artisanal mills in this once vibrant textile-making area of the country. Knudson also formed Studio Structure with Verbeek-Cowart to create their own label within the mill.
Felt Lace X-Change reflects the mission of the mill in its craftsmanship and experimentation with natural fibers and also demonstrates Verbeek-Cowart’s interest in exploring the ways in which wool can be transformed. Felt Lace X-Change is a double-cloth with an open weave structure that has been woven into four “tubes.” The fabric is washed and fulled to achieve a soft, felt-like texture before it is stretched and blocked. After this step, the tubes can be cut or left whole. Both ways create a highly three-dimensional cloth that shares the soft and undulating folds of a curtain.
The deceptively simple structure, pure and natural color, and fine merino wool fiber give credence to both Verbeek-Cowart’s and Oriole Mill’s goals while generating renewed hope for the textile industry in the United States.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Made in the USA.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

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Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 274.3 x 104.1 cm (9 ft. x 41 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Felt Lace X-Change; USA; merino wool; H x W: 274.3 x 104.1 cm (9 ft. x 41 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2010-3-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Felt Lace X-Change |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=19 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>