Coco Flip Presents ‘LINEAR — Explorations in Pleating’ at Melbourne Design Week
Coco Flip is currently presenting LINEAR, an exhibition and short film at Melbourne Design Week that poses two questions; What is the value of our local artisan industry? And what stands to be lost when these industries are no longer viable? Working with Melbourne’s last remaining pleating factory, Specialty Pleaters in Williamstown, Coco Flip seeks to understand the historical significance of pleating and engage with the process, exploring new ways that pleating can be applied in a contemporary design context.
Kate Stokes and Haslett Grounds, the owners of Coco Flip furniture and lighting studio, had known about Williamstown Specialty Pleaters for years before finally visiting. They were amazed by what they discovered. The business was originally established by the Maroney family in Fitzroy back in 1925. However, due to the decline of the textile industry, the family sold it 15 years ago. Another young family then ran the business for a decade before Simon Zdaveski took over. Simon is now the last remaining pleater in Melbourne, Victoria, and one of a few left in the world.
As Simon explains in the short, documentary-style video sharing the story of the pleating workshop and the process behind the exhibition, the art of pleating has been around for four millennia, yet there are only about two books ever written on the subject. Given the uncertain future of pleating in Australia and globally, Simon enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to collaborate with Coco Flip on this project.
With a focus on exploring history and storytelling, LINEAR is an experimental journey resulting in the development of a series of limited-edition sculptural forms that combine pleated linen and reclaimed timber. The exhibition explores various systems of clamping, hanging, and draping to create intricate details that celebrate the beauty of pleated textiles. Inspired by modernist architecture, the interface between materials, and ceremony, these lights offer a warm glow, much the same as a glimpse through a window at dusk.
“This project has been an opportunity for us to explore a more free, creative process, outside the commercial constraints of product design.” — Kate Stokes, Founder and Co-Director of Coco Flip
“Pleating is such a fascinating process with a rich history. It’s been a joy to learn more about it.” — Haslett Grounds, Co-Director of Coco Flip