Nathalie Nijk’s graduate collection ‘Cabinets of Curiosity’ was influenced by a historical phenomneon: private collections popular around 1600-1800, that can be seen as the predecessors of our modern museums. These collections showcased a wide range of ‘rare’ objects, varying from specimens in jars and medical objects to butterflies and dried flowers. To find first-hand visual information for her sketchbook drawings, Nathalie visited the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden, the Netherlands, which is a museum collection that originates from a 1600s private collection. /div>

Using detailed black and white drawings, Nathalie created the basis for her collection of print designs. Nathalie then scanned them into Photoshop to create intricate prints by collaging her drawings together. The focus of her project was on creating hand-printed textiles - the gradients in her black and white drawings were used to create ‘separations’ of her designs, that would be turned into colours during the printing process. She experimented a lot with different hand-printing techniques, such as pigment printing, reactive dye, discharge and flock and foils.
After initial experimenting, Nathalie decided which techniques would be the most successful for a range of fashion fabrics. As pigment printing creates a thick layer of pigment that sits on top of the fabric, she chose to move forward using discharge and reactive dye methods. The discharge method was of particular interest to her, as steaming a discharge print by hand (using an iron) allows for the creation of interesting colour gradients.

This is Nathalie’s final collection line up, of which all fabrics were printed by hand. Nathalie likes to Emphasise the craft that is textile design by trying to refrain from using digital printing methods. She is inspired by finding ways to further enhance her designs by experimenting with different printing techniques. The displacement of colour layers adds dimension to her prints. The final fabrics created are unique and have great handle, lustre and high quality of illustrative designs.