Rinse off 

An application of starch on roving wool

2019

The Netherlands is the world leader in the potato industry in terms of potato production, potato exports, and potato processing.

Potatoes fields occupy almost one-fourth of the country’s arable land, providing over 500 different varieties of potatoes, which differ in water content and starch level.

Starch production varies from food industry to material industry. In the textile industry starch has been used as a ‘temporary’ stiffener for centuries, mainly to ease the weaving process of fragile yarns such as wool.

This process, called sizing, uses starch on ‘twisted’ threads consequently reducing some qualities of the raw material itself.

Being inspired by the industrial process of textile production, ‘Rinse off’ focuses on maximising the potential of starch by applying it directly on untwisted wool. This technique, not only valorise the quality of the starch agent, but allows a more direct contact with the raw beauty of wool, otherwise minimised by the spinning process.

The three textiles which emerge from this research drive attention to the lost qualities of wool, revealing its transparency, irregularity and remarkable softness, made possible by the alternative use of the component of the humble potato.

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© 2020 Caterina Tioli