Unusual Textile Design Material Used by Dutch Designer Billie van Katwijk


Dutch textile designer Billie van Katwijk uses unconventional approach and reusable waste materials as an important themes in his work as a sustainable designer. His latest work Ventri includes use of cow’s stomach which is leftovers from the meat industry. By taking this material which is mostly fed to dogs and making a luxury leather.

Lately emerging trend of circular economy is to create as less waste as possible and to make a design which can be reusable over and over again. In this case cow’s stomach is the waste material, leftover from the meat industry and can be used to create something more meaningful. The rich texture and rough landscape allow to make leather with a completely different feel. The part of an animal which is usually seen as waste through the process of tanning and preserving turns into the new and luxurious material.

Interesting facts: The cow has four different stomach. And each of them, working differently making digestion system possible. Biggest part of cow’s stomach is called rumen and it has scales-like structures that almost look like a fur. Each of the rest three stomachs have its own texture.


Billie van Katwijk described material use in his work Ventri: “ When I saw a cow stomach for the first time I didn’t knew what I was looking at. I never saw cow stomach before so that didn’t came to mind. I saw a leather like material with different structures and textures: fur or scales – like structures, tiny folds in honeybomd netting, with a hexagonal pattern and structures with thin ruffles, and folds. It had the aesthetics that only can be find in nature, irregular and honest, shaped to function but with a mysterious dark atmosphere. It looked like a skin of a fantasy animal, a sort of reptile that I never saw before. I was seized by its mystery.”

The material was transformed into luxorious design handbags and the Ventri collection still can be viewed at  Doetinchem Design Expo at Stadsmuseum Doetinchem until March 25, 2018


Picture by Femke Rijerman
In coloboration with Ecco Leather
Model: Patricia Mokosi

Source: Billie van Katwijk website