Solidwool is a unique, eco-friendly composite material, similar to fiberglass-reinforced plastic, made from coarse fleece of the upland UK sheep. Specially engineered using 60% wool and bio-resins obtained from the waste of wood pulp and bio-fuels industries, Solidwool is a stable, non-reactive and indeed, green alternative to fiberglass. What is more, it is used as the basic material in the manufacture of the award-winning Hembury side chair.
UK-based Justin Floyd is one of those conscientious designers whose creations promote green-living by making innovative use of locally grown raw materials. Resident of the small woolen town of Buchfastleigh, Floyd wanted to design his very own product that would further the cause of the struggling sheep farmers in his native town. It was therefore a deliberate choice on his part to use the kind of lower-grade, coarse fleece that fails to get a good price in the market.
He went on with his experiments for Solidwool right at home, for well over a year. Some of his attempts actually made the house smell awful. In the end, however, he managed to create a material that is solid and malleable enough to be used as an alternative to Injection Molded Polymers( i.e. Petrochemical derived Plastics).
Produced at room temperature, Solidwool is cured in an oven, and finally polished to a high gloss finish. The material is warm to touch, as opposed to the cold feel of the plastic. It is visually appealing, with the lighter “guard” hairs blending with the dark grey background to form an attractive mosaic pattern of contrasting colors.
Made from 1st generation Solidwool, the Hembury Chair is in fact created in the design of the Eames Plastic Side Chair. The Solidwool material actually lends a minimalist, smooth and beautiful finish to the chair. The awe-inspiring way in which a bio-based material has been used to create the sturdy, yet ergonomic body of the chair is what won the Hembury Chair its OneWool nomination.
The Hembury Chair will be available by the end of February for an approximate price of $659. For more information, visit Solidwool website.
To learn more about inventive bio-based technological products, see Winkel w127 LED table lamp.