Fresh from the Archives

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of its showroom, Knoll Textiles has created the Archival Col­lection, five reissues based on fabrics produced since 1947. “One of my goals is to rediscover the past, what Florence Knoll started, and to expand our language of design but really keep it consistent with the company’s heritage,” says Dorothy Cosonas, current creative director of Knoll Textiles. “My mantra from the start was to live up to our history, not off of it.” For this occasion Cosonas chose to bring back pieces from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s because their exaggerated colors and textures still look fresh. “These are strong patterns that speak to today’s designers,” she says.

The new collection—a virtual primer on Modern textile masters—includes upholstery fabrics based on works by weaver and printmaker Anni Albers and Hungarian artist Eszter Haraszty, and a sheer drapery by American designer Ross Littell. Addi­tionally, Paul Maute’s classic Cato will be available in five new colors, and Cyclone—the win­ning drapery design from a 1972 student competition—is being revived. Their reissues prove that these fabrics have staying power, but company founder Florence Knoll Bassett offers a word of advice about how to pick the right one: “A good fabric has to relate to the person, the object, and the atmosphere.”

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