Material

Fish skin

By

Made in

Animal material 63 Biodegradable 244 Textile 96 Egg yolk 2 Fish skin 2

Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin
Fish skin

Photos: Lyy Raitala

The art of turning fish into leather

Designer Vivianne von Arx while working on this project reflected on a variety of questions: What do we have around us? What can we do with it? How much value do we want to give it?

The market is flooded with textile materials and overconsumption. This motivated the designer to recycle, transform and bring to life, new materials such as fish skin. For one ton of fish, we waste 40 kilograms of beautiful high-quality skin, a skin which can be transformed into leather. Made of only two natural ingredients, this material is wholly organic and biodegradable, sustainable and uses low energy to produce. The leather is waterproof and stable, the transformation from the skin to the leather includes sun and time. It opens doors to so many ways of using it while recycling the skin of a fish.

Making process

With a sharp object like a seashell, the fish skin gets cleaned and the scales removed. The skin is then massaged with egg yoke and organic soap helps the designer to replace the water in the material with oil. The prepared leather is then dried in the sun.

Text submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank. For information about reproducing (a part of) this text, please contact the maker.

Ingredients

Fish skin, egg yoke, organic soap, water

Physical samples

  • 151-1

  • 151-2

  • 151-3

Accessible to participants at the Jan van Eyck Academie and during Open Studios.