Anyone who thought that Germany was the country of potatoes has not yet been to the Netherlands. The popular vegetable is grown on almost one quarter of the country’s farmland. With 500 different varieties, the Netherlands is the world leader in the production, export and processing of potatoes. The starch contained in potatoes has been used for centuries in a variety of ways: to fix and solidify food, for elaborate hairstyles – and of course textiles. Anyone who thinks of grandma’s white tablecloth and grandpa’s shirt collar misjudges the potential of this natural miracle cure. Because starch can do much more.

“I believe that traditional techniques and materials are worth being re-investigated and re-discovered in order to achieve a more sustainable future.” Caterina Tioli, designer

The Italian designer and graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven Caterina Tioli uses the properties of potato starch in her “Rinse Off” project to stabilize unspun wool for further processing. By washing linen and cotton fabrics with potato starch powder, the fibres stand and become dirt-repellent. Tioli processes raw fibres with water and starch to weave them after drying. A side effect: The wool becomes ample and full, so that less material is needed. At the end of the weaving process, the starch is rinsed off again. An homage to forgotten traditions and the harmonious relationship between humans and nature.