Flexible wood

Could wood be used as textiles? Lenneke Langenhuijsen explores, taking her cue from the locals in Tonga.
Posted 17 Nov 11 By Design Indaba Craft Creative Work / Design News Comments

Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Lenneke Langenhuijsen experiments with wood as a flexible material.

More than just finding applications as a solid material, Langenhuijsen set out to explore different ways of using wood with her Wooden Textiles project.

This exploration of innovative materials took Langenhuijsen to the South Pacific island of Tonga, where locals beat the bark of the Paper Mulberry tree to make cloth.

Here she documented this ancient craft in a short film and worked to expand the basic principles these people use to create a new, more flexible fabric. Langenhuijsen also used techniques traditionally applied to textiles, such as dyeing and embroidery, and experimented with it on wood.

The result is a collection of interior textiles, together with a set of wooden stools formed and upholstered with multiple layers of Langenhuijsen wood fabric.

The wooden textiles, unlike their conventional counterparts, can be moulded to hold any shape.