Wool waste

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Biodegradable 222 Board material 29 Circular 206 Composite 95 Recyclable 110 Recycled 115 Textile 85 Cellulose 6

Wool waste

Photos: Nina Havermans

Post-production wool waste

This acoustically absorbent material is the result of an investigation (2022) into the possibility of making effective use of the vast amount of post-production wool waste, which constantly accumulates in woven fabric production.

Inspired by the potential of such a large, reliable and readily available stream of post-production wool waste, Nina Havermans set out to explore the opportunity for novel material creation by testing with various renewable binders, ways of resource processing and combining them in different material recipes.

As a result, Nina Havermans created a light and acoustically absorbent material that utilises a waste stream - woollen selvedges - turns it into a resource, and creates opportunities for forming locally attuned material stories. She uses a renewable cellulose-based binder made of biomass from the wood industry. Together, this creates a material that is 100% biobased and biodegradable.

The original qualities of the wool - that is of high quality, produced for Norwegian furniture fabrics - are maintained in the material. This applies to performative qualities, such as sound absorption and natural flame resistance, as well as tactile and aesthetic qualities.

Additional information

Nina Havermans’s methodology is meticulous testing, failing, analysing and testing again, overlapping scientific laboratory protocols with her creative practices. For this project she has built her own design biolaboratory, a new typology and an appropriation of a designstudio. Her methodology has been material and resource driven. This has largely shaped the project to evolve through tests and experiments, and in particular by the material characteristics identified throughout this process.

Material ecology is at the foundation of her creative process: here originates the motivation, inspiration and guiding principles. Material ecology is the study concerning the relations of organisms, including people, to their environments, starting from the perspective of a material, its resources and journey. It guides an ongoing holistic evaluation of the impact of the material.

The material is currently made manually by Nina Havermans herself. However, each step in the process, from resource processing, to material she evaluated to have an industrial equivalent and thereby potential for scaling and impact beyond herself.

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

Ingredients

Post-production waste wool, cellulose, water

Credits

The material was developed as a MA thesis at the Faculty of Design at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Collaborator: Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). Nina Havermans was awarded the FKDS stipend for her material project.