This designer is using dollars and pounds to make textiles

Angela Mathis is shredding up cash to make textiles for a new collection of stools in a project called Value.

London-based designer Angela Mathis is shredding up old cash to upholster a set of stools. Mathis’ intention is not only to be provocative and subversive, but also to question the value of paper money and to consider digitisation – what the future holds for bills.   

Money is, in itself, nothing more than a piece of paper or a shiny coin. The economies of the world give currencies form, but their tangibility isn’t necessary for their assigned values. – Angela Mathis.

Paper money typically has a short life span of only 18 months, after which it is taken out of circulation and incinerated. Mathis’ project, Value, proposes that instead of burning the cash, it be turned into textiles for upholstering furniture.

To create the textile, Mathis put American, British, European Union and Indonesian bills in a shredder. She added water and a binder to the shredded pieces and then flattened out the mixture and quilted it to reinforce it. The last step is to cut and sew the material to size.