In 1929 Albers was commissioned by architect Hannes Meyer, then the director of the Bauhaus, to design a wall covering for the new auditorium of the Allgemeinen Deutschen Gewerkschaftsbundes Schule in Bernau (Germany) using a synthetic material similar to cellophane. This fabric had two sides serving two different purposes, since one was soundabsorbing and the other light-reflecting. At this period, Albers’s work was gaining a reputation and her pieces were gradually starting to be shown in Berlin, her native city.
When she arrived at Black Mountain College in November 1933, Albers had very few materials at her disposal, since many of those she had brought from Europe had been damaged during the voyage and the school’s location in the middle of the countryside meant she had few resources within easy reach. This circumstance, combined with her innate curiosity, led her to experiment with the use of vegetal materials—such as jute, hemp, corn, grass, or eucalypt leaves and materials of industrial origin—such as metal thread—with which she discovered different textures and created unique combinations.