4 September 2015
Made By Rain
Words: Xandra van der Eijk
Photography: Aliki van der Kruijs
Rain is deeply rooted in the Dutch culture. Designer Aliki van der Kruijs questioned what it would be like to capture the experience of rainfall on textile, so it would become possible to ‘wear the weather’.
Aliki’s research started after she inherited twelve calendars from her grandfather. On these calendars he described the weather, every single day of every year. After her grandfathers example, Aliki started to map the atmosphere. Only whereas he wrote it down, she made it visual. In time she developed a new printing technique she now calls ‘pluviagraphy’. By use of a photographic film that is sensitive to water, she is able to transfer rain precipitation onto textiles. The textiles form a collection of weather data: visual recordings of a drizzle day or heavy rainfall, imprinted in textile. It results in unique cloths that are given their actual precipitation data of location, time and weather conditions.
The first textiles that are rained upon were made in Amsterdam, thereby recording the Dutch/Amsterdam weather conditions. However this project could travel anywhere, making it a useful tool to visually record a natural phenomena that is normally measured and noted in weather charts, satellites and graphs. With the production process Aliki also anticipates to the increasing precipitation in the hydrological cycle. For instance the climate changes could be noticed in the prints over a long period of time, as rain in The Netherlands has increased by 4% in the past fifty years because of it.
Aliki has so far applied the fabrics to a silk scarf and a fashion collection. She also described the entire project and process in a publication called ‘Made by Rain’. In general her work explores the relationship (context) between color, nature and environment with a specialization in textiles. Aliki holds a Master of Applied Arts degree from the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam and layers her BA degrees in graphic and fashion design in the embodiment of photography, textile and printed matter.
Find out more about Aliki on her website.