The magic of Monsieur Tricot outdoor lighting.
We all love that moment when it begins to get dark and we light candles to make a cozy scene. Outdoor lighting can enhance that intimate atmosphere and create a mood that helps us to relax.
The Monsieur Tricot lighting collection, created by Belgian designer Ilia Eckhardt, does just that. The knitted and hand-crocheted patterns cast magical shadows and the soft glow adds warmth to your outdoor space.
And as local craftsmanship has always been an important field of interest for Tribù, no wonder we fell head over heels for Ilia’s designs. Let’s meet this fascinating artisan.
Ilia how did you develop a passion for knitting?
“I grew up in our family-owned knitting studio Atelier Tricot led by my mother Hilde Frunt, where knitting and creativity is our day to day business. Already as a child I was obsessed with this craftmanship. I even helped my mother out from time to time, knotting some threads or folding fabrics
. It felt totally normal to live surrounded by the designs of Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Walter Van Beirendonck.. Although I actually studied advertising, I turned to the craft of knitting eventually. I was hugely inspired by the works of both my mother and Ludo Cousy, an industrial knitter. I haven’t regretted it for one second.”
You describe your work as ‘Contemporary Craftmanship’. What does that stand for?
“We actually combine a very authentic technique, the crocheting and knitting, with modern and technical yarns. The crocheting is done with a very big needle with which we manually pull the cord through a loop to create new loops which, in the end, is creating a seamless cover. The knitting is done on a knitting machine with hand finishing to be able to influence the structure where needed. To get to this final result, it took us years of experimenting with the technical cord. The cord itself is made of polypropylene which is weather resistant. It can withstand UV rays and high and low temperatures. The globe, made of PMMA (a transparent thermoplastic often used as a glass substitute) is also weather resistant.”
How did you come up with this particular Monsieur Tricot collection?
“Since family life is both at the core of my personal as well of my professional life, I decided to create a family of lamps. Each of the different rich structures stands for a personality: Monsieur Lebonnet’s open, chunky structure stands for the father figure, the refined, finer Madame Cachet structure stands for the mother, etc. It is the project I am most proud of in my career. With Tribù I have found the perfect match for this authentic mood-setter.”
It is indeed a collection that brings a very special ambiance to the outdoor experience. How can you enhance that effect?
“The floor lamps for example are battery powered so they can easily be moved around determining the atmosphere where it is needed. There is a possibility to dim the lighting with an app, which makes it even more convenient to create a specific mood. And then there is the warm light of course, reflected by the knitting structures. That creates a more intense experience, inspired by sophisticated candle light.