Perspectives for Fiber Manufacturing
Fiber Mates is a collaboration between Laura Jungmann, Jonathan Radetz, Martha Schwindling and Elena Tezak. The designers make use of a new production process developed and patented by a German engineering company: Any kind of fiber –from textile threads and shredded plastic bottles to natural fibers like wool, hemp or wood– can be mixed with a thermoplastic bonding fiber and blown into a mold, where it gets heated and pressed into the final 3D shape. This process can be used to upcycle industrial scraps or waste and to replace energy-intensive and toxic PU foam processing. Besides the environmental advantages it is also highly efficient in the use of raw material and it doesn’t require pre-products in the shape of mats or blocks. All leftover fibers can be reused, and already pressed forms can be torn again and reused for the process. The production method further allows for complex variations of density and shape in a single part. At Salone Satellite 2018 in Milan the four designers presented a series of seating elements and room dividers that illustrate the potential of pressed fibers as a resource for the furniture industry while further reflecting the designers’ interest in modularity and materiality.