LOTTE GULPERS’ project SWART LAEKEN – a black wool fabric as a bridge between costume & fashion

Generations of hard work and a bit of luck: these were the prerequisites for the heyday of the Netherlands in the 17th century. The “Golden Age” is still on everyone’s lips till this very day – especially in view of the climax in Dutch art and culture. “Swart Laeken” (black layers) is the name the young Friesian designer Lotte Gulpers gave to her projects in which she breathes new life into the almost forgotten,historic craft of weaving that iconi black wool fabric that observers find so often in Rembrandt’s or Vermeer’s paintings.

„By Re-Discovering former strenths we can improve the way we work today.“ Lotte Gulpers

The wool of the local “Zwartbles” sheep is woven, felted, dyed with organic indigo and raised by hand. It takes 64 hours of manual work to finish one robust, dirt-repellent and waterproof garment that lasts for a lifetime. The result of this work is a quality that far exceeds today’s norms, which is oriented towards ephemeral trends and high profit margins. Inspired by the past Gulpers designs expressive pieces building a bridge between costumes and fashion. With clear contours and rich details like the artworks of their baroque role models, they add grace and strength to their wearers, turning into heirlooms guaranteed to inspire future generations.