Pieteke Korte creates optical illusions with
leather for Visual Interferences collection

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Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Pieteke Korte has made a collection of leather samples that use iridescent colours and geometric patterns to create distorted visual effects (+ slideshow).

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

Pieteke Korte treated chrome-tanned top-grain cow leather with a variety of techniques to create the different effects, in line with six abstract mood boards she created.



The iridescent colour effects were achieved using heat-transferred foils and pearlescents embedded into the surface of coloured leather.

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

"In most instances the illusions rely on a base colour which is dyed into the leather, and a secondary colour which is added to the surface of the leather either using paint or foils," Korte told Dezeen.

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

Geometric patterns generating moiré effects and optical interferences were either engraved into the surface of the leather to expose a secondary colour, or screen printed onto the surface of the material.

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

"Laser engraving is done in most cases by hand, but large format laser cutters were used on some of the lighter coloured samples to prevent the lasers burning the leather," Korte said. "There is a last step which is important to the process but it's a trade secret."

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

Korte started working with leather through an ongoing partnership between Design Academy Eindhoven and leather brand Ecco.

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

"The thing I have enjoyed most about working with leather is that it is a very malleable material, which gives a lot of space for experimentation. Working with leather frequently feels like cooking, whereas working with textiles always felt more like a maths class."

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

The designer created the collection for the fashion industry, to highlight movement in accessories and clothing such as shirts, skirts and bags.

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

"There are a lot of processes already used on leather to add to its natural properties, for example snake skins, printed foils, die cutting, etc," said Korte. "Introducing grids and patterns was my way of taking it a step further giving the leather an extra dimension – engraving leather shapes the way it moves."

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

The collection, entitled Visual Interferences, was part of Pieteke Korte's final project at the Man and Identity department of Holland's Design Academy Eindhoven.

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte

Photography is by Nick Meehan

Visual Interferences by Pieteke Korte


Project credits:

Models: Fleur Hulleman, Floriane Misslin
Sponsored by Ecco leather
Clothing from You Are Here, Eindhoven