Oranje Boven! – royal textile masterpieces

27 April 2017  till 11 June 2017

Masterpieces Jan Taminiau on show

Two masterpieces by Jan Taminiau will be added to the exhibition ‘Oranje Boven! Royal Textiles I Masterpieces’ on April, 27th. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will be visiting Tilburg that day to celebrate the King’s 50th birthday. A good reason for the TextielMuseum to develop a very special royal damask, a so called ‘remembrance damask’. Offering damasks to the Royal Family at festivities or special visits has been a tradition for over hundreds of years. This time, the TexielMuseum asked designer Jan Taminiau to design a damask tablecloth and fifty napkins. The prototype and the making process are on show from April, 27th until June, 11th 2017, together with the royal blue inauguration dress and cape of Queen Máxima.  

From Cub to Lion
Jan Taminiau designed a table cloth, inspired through the circle of life. In fifty scenes the lion grows up, from lion cub to mature lion. The course of life is supported through the many symbolic details: from blossom and the growth of the ‘Orange apples’, to the cubs and lioness that at a certain moment join the lion. In every scene, the lion is surrounded by Dutchmen. They observe the situation but are also part of it. To translate the refined illustrations into a damask set – white and shiny, with woven patterns – is quite a ‘master proof’, especially in combination with the 3D embroidery that adds an extra layer to the whole. Many samples are woven, embroidered, washed, mangled and finished. The prototype that is exhibited will be added to the museum collection. During the exhibition period, Jan Taminiau and the product developers will be working on the realisation of the table linen set for the King.

‘It was a great honour to be asked by the TextielMuseum to design a damask table set for the 50th birthday of our King. Just like all Dutchmen, I have seen King Willem-Alexander grow up. The idea that that little boy is now our King and that we already see the next generation, our Crown Princess, flourish, touches and inspires me.’ 


A Unique Masterpiece
The TextielMuseum has a unique position: it is the only place in the Netherlands where damask is still being made. With this new piece, history is being continued in full glory. The exhibition ‘Oranje Boven! Royal Textiles I Masterpieces’ is located in the TextielLab, the workplace of the museum. The designs are exhibited among the modern machines, the same spot where Jan Taminiau and the TextielLab team have worked on the table set for months.

The TextielLab experts often explore the boundaries of the machines, together with designers and artists. But this time, it went even further. In all aspects, this was a challenging project. The size of the table cloth is unique. Never before, a table cloth of 9,5 by more than 3 meters has been woven in the TextielLab. Because of the extraordinary measurements, the table cloth has been woven in three parts. After that they are embroidered and assembled.

Exclusively for this exhibition, a glass exhibition case has been made. Not only the pilot model of the masterpiece is shown, but also many parts of the design and making process are exhibited, so that the visitor can actually see what it takes to realise such a special damask.

‘At all levels, this is the most extraordinary table cloth that we have ever made; it is a good example of our dedication to combine quality, craft and modern technique.’


Oranje Boven! | Royal Textiles
The exhibition ‘Oranje Boven!’ consists of two parts. A selection of our beautiful Royal Textiles collection – from colourful printed ‘remembrance cloths’ to damasks with woven royal portraits – has been on show from April, 1st at the DamastWeverij.

In our TextielLab we show the pilot model of the table set as well as the royal blue inauguration dress and cape of Queen Máxima from 2013. Both designs are by Jan Taminiau. He has a special relationship with the TextielMuseum. Ever since his graduation, he regularly works at the TextielLab, where he developed several collections of fashion fabrics.

Kingsday Program
On Kingsday, April, 27th the TextielMuseum is open from 10 am till 5 pm.

The royal program contains:

  • 11 am                              watch the Royal Family visit Tilburg live on screen
  • 2 pm I 3 pm I 4 pm     mini guides through the exhibition ‘Oranje Boven!’ (for free)
  • 2 – 4 pm                        workshop ‘Oranje Boven!’

The TextielLab celebrates ‘Oranje Boven!’. From April, 27th until 30th you can not only enjoy the masterpieces in our workplace, but also several different techniques will be demonstrated.

Photo table cloth under embroidery machine, design by Jan Taminiau photo: Josefina Eikenaar

Photo inauguration dress of Her Majesty Queen Máxima, design by Jan Taminiau – photo: REINIER RVDA