Chou Chou (Rouge) is a series of textile pieces, inspired by and developed in collaboration with vegetables. The project consists of 5 tufted works that have been dyed naturally with red cabbage, beets, red wine and black beans. The shapes give a gentle nod to growth forms found in nature.
With Chou Chou (Rouge) Manu Van Guijze created a project that’s interested in softness, nature, comfort and wellbeing. Chou Chou (Rouge) is a series of textile pieces, inspired by and developed in collaboration with vegetables. The project consists of 5 tufted works that have been dyed naturally. From a background in furniture design, Manu Van Guijze had always been interested in working with textiles. She loves the femininity it carries. It is soft, yet strong, comforting and warm. The material is empathetic and stimulates our senses. However the coloring process used to dye fabric is extremely harmful to humans, animals and the environment. An aspect that cannot provide the wellbeing and softness Van Guijze seeks in her practice. This led her to researching natural ways to dye textile. For a year, Manu Van Guijze researched natural dyes and color effects and she created a personal dyeing technique. When developing Chou Chou (Rouge), the first phase of the project involves the creation of natural dyes. Vegetables such as red cabbage, beets and black beans are simmered in water to extract pigments. When the desired color is achieved, the yarn gets soaked in the dye. After the yarn has taken up the color and is hung to dry, it is ready to be tufted. For the shapes of the tufted pieces, Manu Van Guijze is inspired by growth forms found in nature. Cross sections of vegetables show magical patterns. The result is 5 bright colored textile pieces in varying sizes, that provide feelings of wellbeing, honesty, compassion and purity.