Made in ,

Circular 215 Fibre 64 Plant-based 167 Textile 89 Fique 2


Photos: Rosana Escobar, Oscar Perfer

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 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 is 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, suggests the opportunities for new markets in existing industries.

Additional information

The exploration of the material in its different stages. This allowed us 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 tapestries.

Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.



Physical samples

139-1, 139-2, 139-3, 139-4, 139-5, 139-6, 139-7
Accessible to visitors of the Future Materials Lab