Material

Grass

By

Made in

Biodegradable 236 Board material 31 Circular 220 Dye 47 Fibre 66 Paper 25 Plant-based 172 Grass 5

Grass
Grass
Grass
Grass
Grass
Grass

Photos: Akash kumar, Pippa

Grassland crafted

In the Netherlands, local materials such as grass, reeds, and other natural fibres can be utilised for creating sustainable materials. The country has a rich tradition of harnessing natural resources, especially considering its geographical features like lowlands, wetlands, and extensive marshes, which are conducive to the growth of these materials.

In his research, Akash conducted several experiments to turn grass into materials. He ensured no waste in the process. His initial research aimed to weave textile samples using grass, but he found grass fibres too small to weave together. He noticed grass fibres typically used in grass mat weaving are longer (e.g., Cattail leaves, Kauna Grass). He realised woven grass must be fully matured and dried straight.

Furthermore, he extracted natural dyes from grass and explored making grass leather once paper-making succeeded. He considered growing mycelium on top since it's a cellulose material for mycelium to feed on and then stopping that growth. This would yield a leather-like material made of grass and mycelium. The research opens many possibilities for grass as a vegan leather option. Eventually, grass paper had the most promising outcomes, surprising him with its stability and strength.

Making process

Ingredients and equipment:
Grass
Water
Blender
Fine mesh screen or sieve
Plastic basin or shallow container
Sponge
Towels or cloths
Rolling pin or flat object

Method:
Collect and prepare the grass: break it into small pieces and remove any big items like pebbles or twigs. Place the grass pieces in a plastic basin or shallow container.

Cover the grass with water and let it soak for a few hours or overnight. This helps break down the cellulose fibres.

After soaking, blend the grass and water in a blender until you get a pulp-like consistency. Add more water if needed.

Set up your work area with towels or cloths to absorb excess water. Pour the blended grass mixture into another basin or large container. Add more water to achieve a soupy consistency.

Place the fine mesh screen or sieve over the basin with the grass mixture. This will be your mould. Dip the mould into the grass mixture, ensuring an even layer of pulp covers the screen. Lift the mould slowly, allowing the water to drain.

Use a sponge to press out excess water from the grass on the screen. Flip the screen upside down onto a flat surface.

Use a rolling pin or flat object to press the grass onto the surface, removing more water and creating a uniform thickness.

Carefully peel the grass paper off the screen and place it on a dry towel or cloth. Allow the paper to air-dry completely. Once the grass paper is dry, you can further press it with a heavy book to flatten it and improve smoothness.

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

Grass, water

Credits

Grassa, Low food lab, Flevo campus

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