Unraveling the coffee bag
The planetary phenomena where raw materials are in the service of global systems, calls for an urgent reinstitution. Fique, an agave plant native to Colombia, provides the fibre used for the production of coffee bags exported from Colombia to the rest of the world.
The high demand has resulted in a large fique cultivation and industry. Its reliance on another market and its destiny as a coffee bag makes it vulnerable and undervalued.
‘Unravelling the coffee bag’ traces a global product back to its local context and its raw state. It reveals the story behind a product as part of a larger ecosystem and explores the missed opportunities in the production line of a standardised market. Through material experiments and the use of different techniques, a collection of objects are made, keeping the unique qualities of the fibre that are normally discarded in the process. Reclaiming the richness and potential when a material is diversified and repurposed, suggesting the opportunities for new markets in existing industries.
The exploration of the material in its different stages allowed to diversify the qualities of the material and suggest new applications. Using the material in its raw form before its industrially turned into a yarn, showed the unique qualities of the material. The fluff, a by-product of the processing of the fibre, was explored with felting techniques to create a skin-like material for rugs and tapestry.
Text submitted by the maker
Fique (Furcraea sp.), an Agave plant native to the tropical Andean regions.
Rosana Escobar - Oscar Perfer