Van Besouw, founded in 1839, is traditionally a manufacturer of technical textiles, linen, cotton and other natural materials. Established in early 1900, it produced carpets and Holtap carpets. 1967 was the year of the big change: the carpet division of Van Besouw switched from imitation designs to industrial design, which meant a change from a wholesale, mass product to a specialised product for selective customers. Through the Institute for Industrial Design in Amsterdam, Van Besouw came into contact with the designer Benno Premsela, who then became the head of design and product development. Premsela set up a design studio in Goirle and put together a team of designers. This studio operated until January 1984, after which they operated from Bureau Premsela Vonk in Amsterdam. Designers who have worked with Premsela included Ludo Lockefeer, Lenie Hoos, Diek Zweegman, Marijke Reus, Rolf Brenner, Hetty Grefelman and Magda Prins. The most well-known design is the cotton carpet 3801, which is not woven but knitted instead, a technique that provided many opportunities for creating patterns and structures. Benno Premsela continued to work with Van Besouw until 1990, after which Josée de Pauw and Nan Raap took over. The collaboration between Van Besouw and Premsela Vonk ended in 1993. As of 2013, Alide van der Poel and Noor van de Voort (from Dames 2) are responsible for the industrial design at Van Besouw.
The archive of Van Besouw has been transferred to the Regionaal Archief in Tilburg, where it is available for study and research purposes.
Click here to view the online archive.
Van Besouw – de ontknoping; Geschiedenis van een Goirles textielbedrijf
Authors: Virginie Mes, Frank van Gils and Jef van Gils
Goirle 2005, ISBN: 978-90-80784-12-3