Kvadrat: Materialising Colour, Journeys with Giulio Ridolfo

Materialising Colour is a fascinating journey into the world of colour and textiles through the eyes of Kvadrat colour expert Giulio Ridolfo. The book also chronicles the research phase for a new colour palette based on indigo for the Kvadrat textile Remix 3.

Beautifully printed with a tactile cloth jacket, each copy of the book features a unique textile swatch from the new Remix 3 collection.

Materialising Colour, Journeys with Giulio Ridolfo offers a captivating look at how Giulio Ridolfo, travels across the world, drawing inspiration from the landscape and traditional crafts, in pursuit of the most compelling and original colours.

Edited by Jane Withers and published by Phaidon, the book is the first and only insight into the world of this renowned “colour master” whose processes and inspirations are rarely revealed to the public.

The journey starts with the notion of colour and terroir in the northeast of Italy where Ridolfo comes from. It moves into the northern Danish landscape, where he composes new colour ranges in the long, clear days of midsummer, which is when he considers the light to be the most characteristic of Kvadrat’s Nordic design heritage and the atmospheres he wants to achieve. 

The third journey in Materialising Colour explores the historic and contemporary power of indigo. It looks to the blues of India, from celestial Krishna blue to the cultivation and processing of Indigofera tinctoria (also known as ‘true indigo’). During this journey Ridolfo started the process of creating a new indigo-based colour palette for Kvadrat’s wool textile Remix. Ridolfo explored indigo at source and learnt about the dyeing process by observing and working with master dyers and weavers, this extensive study informed the new colours of Remix 3.

Intuition, knowledge and respect for mother nature were key for the process of dyeing with natural Indigo. The only way to translate this into Western organised dyeing processes was by working on a reduced but resonating colour range of yarns, on a scale from red to blue. Working on this was a wonderful journey, during which the essential yarn of Remix was fundamental for creating the desired shades of blue and other naturals.’– Giulio Ridolfo

Incorporating the colour ideas and inspiration taken from Ridolfo’s journey in India, the new colours for Remix 3 were carefully selected from 2600 samples centred around deep combinations of blues and rich natural reds.

Materialising Colour also documents the recolouration of one of Kvadrat’s most successful textiles, Steelcut Trio. For Steelcut Trio, Ridolfo was inspired by the colours found in nature at different times of the day. Each colourway is composed of three different-coloured yarns, giving the fabric a three-dimensional expression.

Throughout his journeys, Ridolfo is accompanied by photographer Howard Sooley, who captures what Ridolfo sees and how he sees it, recording the colourist’s ability to translate these ephemeral images into physical products.