I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a chair addict. There have been times that my home has looked like some sort of chair showroom. I am working through it and have managed to move on a few fine examples and so we’re down to an acceptable level, but I still indulge my chair love through Pinterest and experience regular chair envy when anywhere graced by a particularly desirable example. That chair envy certainly popped up when I passed the SOLIDWOOL stand.
This small but perfectly formed stand showcased a pair of rather fine chairs that have a subtly mid Century feel about them. That in itself was enough to stop me. I then started chatting with one of the founders of SOLIDWOOL and discovered that the chairs were the very beautiful vehicle for a new material that they have developed. SOLIDWOOL is essentially a sustainable and eco friendly version of fibreglass, and therefore could be formed into pretty much any shape that fibreglass is used for. I’m so pleased that they chose such a beautiful chair to start with.
The material is made from wool which is sourced from the Highland sheep farming industry, and in so doing they have created a fresh opportunity for a product that has fallen out of commercial favour and is now almost considered a waste product, which is such a shame for a British based, brilliantly renewable resource. (Well, for anyone of you who follow my Twitter feed you may have seen my PETA inspired rant about the poor treatment of British sheep so I hope that the farmers who supply this resource are shearing their flocks with more care and respect so that we can feel as good about this material as we’d like to…). The fleece is then combined with a high bio content resin, and along with some brilliantly inspired jiggery-pokery (lets not give away all of their secrets!) you have a stunning new material that is both functional and also beautifully showcasing the texture and softly tonal colours of the natural fleece.
All of the production happens in and around Buckfastleigh in Devon, with SOLIDWOOL collaborating with local craftsmen to produce the wooden and metal elements of the chair.
This chair is called the Hembury and is available to order at
about £450.00 £395.00. I don’t think that’s too steep for a product that is sustainably created, beautifully designed, supporting many diverse British industries and I think is also potentially a design classic. If this concept has inspired you and your brain is now racing with all sorts of other brilliant uses for this amazing new material, then the SOLIDWOOL team are also open to discussing collaborations.
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