Interweaving local resources, traditional know-how, and new technologies to produce responsible textiles.
Drawing on the textile industry’s deep historical roots in the area, the Textile Lab is reestablishing local production capacities and technical knowledge. Created by a team of designers, engineers, researchers, and technicians, the Textile Lab is equipped with machines and tools for dyeing, printing, weaving, and assembling. This infrastructure allows for applied research, prototyping, and small production runs.
The Textile Lab’s projects involve a large number of professions and participants at each stage of research, from the resources to their applications. Because the Textile Lab’s teams are working on projects connected to every level of the industry, they interact with the people producing and harvesting fibers in the bioregion (such as sheep farmers and organizations tasked with removing invasive plants), with an interregional network of spinning and weaving manufacturers and industrial players, and with an international circle of artists, designers, and manufacturers.
One of the Textile Lab’s ongoing missions is to identify local resources through the lenses of economic, socio-historical, and environmental issues. The team is developing projects that use Arles Merino wool, a traditional industry that is currently languishing (Laines d’Arles project); invasive agave plants in the Calanques National Park in Marseille (Invasive Plants Club); and microalgae from the Camargue region (Algae Platform). The Textile Lab also uses agro-industrial coproducts, other invasive species, Mediterranean dye plants and hemp for its research.
Threads and fibers made from these resources, as well as plant dyes, are being developed for use in conventional production circuits. For the textile industry, they represent alternatives to polluting or non-renewable materials and processes.
The first textiles produced by the Textile Lab are featured in real-world projects, such as Martino Gamper’s interior design project Tutti Frutti, and the LUMA Tower, designed by Frank Gehry, in the Parc des Ateliers in Arles.
LGP (Laboratoire Génie Production)
Marais du Viguerat
Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue
Ecole d'ingénierie et d'innovation textile (ENSAIT)
Atelier Laines d'Europe
Filature et teinture Terrade
Sfate et Combier
Sfate et Combier, France