What was once lost is now being found again in modern design company Moooi’s latest North American debut: the Extinct Animal Fabrics collection. After traveling the world and digging through dusty museum archives and old treasures, the Moooi design team discovered the inspiration it was searching for with its new line in the form of meticulous drawings of lost and ancient imaginary creatures.
Extinct animals, like the armored boar, the dodo bird and bearded leopard, have come to life as 12 symbolic fabrics and leathers (check out the slideshow below), each of which celebrates nature’s diversity and highlights past and present expeditions around the globe.
Moooi, which is based in the Netherlands, spent years working to create the most interesting translation from the extinct animals to its collection, which also includes carpets and wallcoverings. According to Jan-Willem Poels, Moooi’s country manager for the USA, the drawings behind the Extinct Animals collection were discovered in historic libraries and museums from all over the globe.
“Most of the artists are unknown, as they were drawn by explorers on their travels,” notes Poels. “It was such a joy to discover so many hidden treasures and then to decide which ones to work with.”
Moooi selected the most interesting and inspiring creatures based off their personalities and traits that could be interpreted into different designs. For example, the pattern Calligraphy Bird Jacquard is inspired by the mating ritual of a male Calligraphy Bird – the blue hues of his ornate collar of feathers and how they shine in the sun during his back-and-forth movement are rendered onto the fabric.
The animal names can be found in their corresponding leather or fabric (sometimes both) and include the following:
- Armoured Boar Crackle
- Armoured Boar Hairy
- Bearded Leopard Jacquard
- The Silent Bison Velvet
- Blushing Sloth Melange Mohair
- Blushing Sloth Wooly Mohair
- Calligraphy Bird Jacquard
- Dodo Pavone Jacquard
- Dwarf Rhino Buffed
- Dwarf Rhino Crackle
- Flying Coral Fish Scaled
- The Menagerie of Extinct Animals
Each pattern of fabric or leather possesses unique characteristics and embodies not only the extinct animals’ looks and textures, but also their tactual feel. An assortment of high-quality materials, such as high-pile cotton, velvet, jacquards, treated leathers, mohair and faux fur are available in the collection.
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“Like in nature itself, the natural color palette works great together,” Poels points out about Extinct Animals. “The fabrics are all individuals but, in a way, are all related.”
Poels goes on to add that the entire Extinct Animals collection – fabrics, carpets and wallcoverings – can all be used in combination or separately in any space that is looking to add a touch of nature in an upscale manner. He also adds that anyone with an interest in historic art and sense of wanderlust can find the drawings that inspired the Extinct Animals collection currently on display in the Moooi New York showroom.
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