Solidwool’s Sustainable Chair: Fusing Welsh Mountain Wool and Bio-Resin
November 15, 2023
UK based company Solidwool has introduced an innovative material crafted from a blend of wool and bio-resin, resulting in the creation of the remarkable Welsh Mountain Hembury Chair. Recognized for its distinctive character, this chair has been shortlisted in the furniture design category of the esteemed Deezen Awards 2023. It stands out with its seat formed from a fibreglass-like composite, partially made from wool sourced from Welsh Mountain sheep.
The primary material for this chair derives from Welsh Mountain sheep that have grazed the valleys and steep hillsides of Wales for centuries. These sheep possess fleeces of either dark of light colours, which are typically disposed of since they are too coarse for spinning into wool or dying. However, Solid wool saw an opportunity to repurpose this abundant, coarse wool.
Andy Guard, the creative director of Solid wool, explained, “[Welsh Mountain fleeces] are plentiful, yet there is little demand for this coarse, robust and wiry wool. [The breed is] native to the UK, so it is important to keep these sheep and their shepherds in the landscapes they belong.”
The fibres from an entire fleece are combined with bio-resin, a binding material that contains 50% bio-based renewable content. This bio-resin is sourced from byproducts of various industrial processes like bio-fuel production and paper making. The resulting composite serves as an eco-conscious alternative to commonly used injection-moulded plastics in chair design.
The Solidwool material’s organic nature provides each chair with a unique marbled appearance, showcasing the texture of Welsh Mountain wool. The seat is supported by hand-turned British ash wood legs, available in dark scorched or lighter, oiled finishes. A recycled steel frame ensures stability and ads to the chair’s distinctive character.
Solidwool’s Welsh Mountain Hembury Chair is designed to be treasured and passed down through generations, celebrating the possibilities of a wool composite. In addition to the wooden-legged Hembury Chairs, the brand offers stacking chairs with slim chrome-plated metal legs and a range of side tables featuring Solidwool tabletops. The material is also available in sheet formats for various applications.
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