Dornier: Fabric for “L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapp...

Fabric for “L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped”

The Arc de Triomphe, Paris/France (Source: Dornier)
The Arc de Triomphe, Paris/France (Source: Dornier)

Christo planned to cover the Arc de Triomphe in Paris/France in 2020. But Covid-19 intervened and shortly afterwards the internationally renowned artist died. His nephew now has accomplished posthumously Christo's last work. The woven fabric for this piece of art was provided by a German customer of Dornier.
From September 18 to October 3, 2021, 25,000 m² of silver-blue fabric cover the 50-meter-high Arc de Triomphe. The coated fabric used, made from recycled polypropylene (PP), was provided by Setex-Textil GmbH, Greven/Germany. It took one year to produce this fabric especially for this work of art on a Dornier P2 rapier weaving machine. Geo. Gleistein & Sohn GmbH, Bremen/Germany, supplied 3,000 m of fire-retardant, bright red rope in final makeup with matching red fittings for the project.
Technology from Lindauer Dornier GmbH, Lindau/Germany, already played a part in earlier works by Christo, who always chose his “wrapping materials” very carefully. Thus, the PP fabric that covered the Reichstag in Berlin/Germany in 1995 and the material for Christo's project "The Gates" in Manhattan's Central Park, New York, NY/USA, were also produced on rapier weaving machines from Dornier.

Dornier P2 rapier weaving machine (Source: Dornier)
The technical properties of the textiles used for these art performances offer sufficient resistance to wind loads, and artistic criteria such as light reflection or fall of the folds are important influencing factors. The fabric developed for this purpose must therefore have a texture optimized in terms of lightness and stability.
Economic and recycling aspects also play a role. The former is particularly important because all of Christo's projects were realized without public funding.

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