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Interplay

  • Object:

    Furnishing fabric

  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)

  • Date:

    1962 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Larsen, Jack Lenor (designer)
    Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated (designed for)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Saran monofilament

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Jack Lenor Larsen

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.259-1965

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Jack Lenor Larsen designed this unusual and innovative plastic furnishing fabric in 1962. It was intended for a new bank building in Philadelphia which had 20-foot high windows above the doors. Larsen's challenge was to design a non-stretch, stable fabric that would act as a curtain without interfering with the movement of the doors beneath. The fabric, which he called 'Interplay', is a non-woven warp-knitted textile made from fine Saran (plastic) thread. It was designed to be flame-retardant, resistant to fading and soil, and easily washed. The plastic construction also meant that it could be heat-set to permanently hold its folds in position. When made in dark colours, it helped reduce sunlight glare without affecting the views through the window.

Although in the end the bank did not commission Larsen to do their interiors, he believed so strongly in the merits of 'Interplay' that he continued producing the fabric until 1986.

Physical description

Non-woven furnishing fabric made from Saran monofilament in a warp knit construction.

Place of Origin

United States (made)

Date

1962 (designed)

Artist/maker

Larsen, Jack Lenor (designer)
Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated (designed for)

Materials and Techniques

Saran monofilament

Dimensions

Width: 48 in, Length: 108 in

Object history note

'Interplay' was created in 1962 as part of the Larsen III collection.

Larsen conceived it as a fabric suitable for window-dressing, and tried to address the practical issues related to casement fabrics. He wrote in related company literature that 'This unique warp knit construction firmly holds the straw-like yarns in a lacy open filigree, which is flame retardant, sun resistant, soil resisting and easily washed. The dark colors are especially useful in revealing a view while reducing glare.'

Interplay was developed with the hope that it would lead to commissions from companies and institutions, and help publicise and expose the company, which had no advertising budget. It was designed for a new bank building in Philadelphia which had 20-foot windows above a set of doors. The windows required a stable, non-stretch fabric that wouldn't interfere with door movement. As Interplay could be heat-set to hold its shape, it seemed an ideal fabric for the purpose. Although the studio did not receive the commission, Larsen believed so strongly in the fabric's merit and potential that he kept it in production until 1986.

Descriptive line

Non-woven furnishing fabric 'Interplay' from 'Larsen III' made from Saran monofilamen, designed by Jack Lenor Larsen for Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated, United States, 1962

Materials

Saran

Techniques

Knitting

Categories

Textiles; Interiors; Plastic

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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