Christmas Greetings and New Year Wishes

2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. Thankfully, we were able to continue working on ongoing projects and start some new.

The Textile Center was able to secure funding for several projects, including a NORA collaboration with Norway, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and "CENTRINNO", a European project under the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The 3 1/2 year collaboration aims to revitalise once thriving industrial areas, using cultural heritage as the inspiration. 

Partnering institutions and foundations include WAAG and Metabolic Institute in Amsterdam, Volumes and Sony CLS in Paris, IAAC in Barcelona, ​​the Danish Design Center in Copenhagen, FabLab ZagrebTallinn University of TechnologyComune di MilanoWeMake Milan, and the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. For Iceland, one of the main aims is to strengthen and further develop the Textile Center in Blönduós ("city size category": XS) into a dynamic textile hub, where designers, artists, makers and scholars have access to modern facilities and equipment suited to their needs. The focus will be on natural and regional materials and resources, such as Icelandic wool. 

In this context, we also received a grant from the Icelandic Infrastructure Fund to help build the infrastructure for textile research. A new digital loom, felt loom, vinyl cutter and digital knitting and embroidery machines are already on their way to Blönduós. 

Despite the pandemic, several textile artists were able to travel to Iceland and join us at the Textile Center residency, for which we are very grateful. We were also able to welcome students from Professionsskole in Copenhagen and the University of the Arts in Reykjavík, as well as members of the Icelandic Textile Association, who participated in a TC2 digital loom workshop. According to our Facebook and Instagram, there are now around 2000 people following us worldwide - very exciting! 

The Textile Center also offers access to the distance learning facilities located in our building. Due to Covid-19, there was very limited activity; normally, there are university level and adult education courses taught in Kvennaskólinn via distance learning equipment, and over 100 exams are supervised by us every year. 

Our team - small, but hardworking and passionate - includes Elsa Arnardóttir (director), project managers Katharina Schneider and Jóhanna Erla Pálmadóttir, and staff members who join us for the duration of individual projects. In the summer of 2020, our three-year research and innovation project "Bridging Textiles to the Digital Future", led by Ragnheiður Björk Þórsdóttir, ended with a presentation and exhibition during DesignMarch in Reykjavík and the formal opening of our weaving pattern database. In the fall, event manager (and avid knitter) Svanhildur Pálsdóttir joined the Icelandic Knit Fest organising team. The festival will be held from June 11 - 13, 2021, so if you are interested in all things knit, save the date!

If you are interested in other projects we are currently working on, there is an (Icelandic) overview here on our homepage. 

We would also like to use the opportunity and thank everyone who has worked with and supported us in recent years. We very much appreciate it and look forward to new projects and collaborations in the future. 

Wishing you a Happy Holiday season and a successful year ahead from the Icelandic Textile Center!