Artists at the Netherlands Pavilion, Culture|

Forest Wool

Pine trees are the world’s main source of timber. Every year 600 million pine trees are cut down in the EU only. But there is more to the tree than just wood: pine needles account for 20 to 30 percent of its mass depending on the tree’s age. Tamara Orjola researched the potential use of the billions of needles that go unused and found them to be a great alternative for all kinds of fibres. With standard manufacturing techniques – crushing, soaking, steaming, carding, binding and pressing – they can be transformed into fibre which can have a diverse application in textiles, composite and paper industries. While processing the fibre Orjola also extracts essential oil and dye as by-products. An elegant series of stools and carpets made of nothing but pine needles, shows that this ecological material also has a high-quality look and feel to it. ‘Large timber manufacturers – such as IKEA – could benefit greatly from this new approach. You can really make a large assortment of products from needle-bearing trees alone’, says Orjola.

What began as research into the forgotten value of plants, as well as the craft techniques and applications that have been lost in the wake of mass-production domination, has resulted in the proposal for an alternative, more sustainable attitude to pine.



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