From Wood to Fabric – Kinnarps Develops Paper Furniture Prototypes

From Wood to Fabric – Kinnarps Develops Paper Furniture Prototypes

Is it possible to make furniture and interior fittings out of paper? Of course it is! Kinnarps is one of the companies behind the project ‘Designed for recycling‘, which has resulted in a recyclable prototype screen.

Cooperation with Smart Textiles and 13 other companies

Kinnarps is one of the participants in ‘Designed for Recycling’, in cooperation with Smart Textiles and 13 other companies in the Swedish forestry, paper and textile industries. The aim has been to develop bio-based furniture and interior fittings made of recyclable paper material. The idea is to create a cycle in which the furniture and its constituent parts can be recycled – and be given a new life as paper and cardboard products – instead of being thrown away. In this way Kinnarps can create a better effect by means of a cycle in which, instead of throwing raw materials and textile fibres away, the company can use them again and again.

Completely recyclable protorype screen

“In the project, Kinnarps has developed a prototype screen which is completely recyclable, both the core and the fabric upholstery, and which is manufactured from raw timber from Swedish forestry. Designed for Recycling developed paper yarn from two different types of paper, which was then knitted into textile, and this is what we used for the screen. The project also developed a tougher paper structure that could be used for the core,” says Christina Calisir, Technical Manager Cover Materials at Kinnarps.

Easy to assemble and disassemble

On the basis of the two materials, Kinnarps designed prototypes of two desktop screens. In order for the furniture to be really recyclable, it is important that all components can be properly separated. For this reason, a paper textile covering was sewn, which could then be threaded over the paper core. Smart fasteners make it easy to assemble and disassemble the screens. The screens thus pass through the entire cycle, from paper to yarn, textile manufacturing, finished product and, finally, recycling.

“The reception has been really positive, both in the project group and among the customers we’ve presented the screens to,”says Calisir.

Locally grown textiles

The activity formed part of the project ‘Establishing locally-grown textiles in Sweden’, extending over several years, in which Kinnarps also took part. The aim of the project was to find new ways of using Swedish raw wood, with a focus on the furniture and interior design industries. The fabrics manufactured in the project framework, and also used for Kinnarps’ prototype screens, are made of Swedish fir and pine wood pulp. The fabrics have proved to be remarkably hard-wearing, in a way that makes them very suitable for use in offices and public environments. They have also been used for various items of clothing, including a ‘paper dress’ designed as part of the project.

The project led to an innovative and informative exchange between different industries such as the furniture, textile, paper and recycling industries. “Doing things together gives you a deeper understanding of each other’s’ challenges in the different industries. We also showed the potential there is in creating textiles and furniture out of paper from Swedish biomass,” says Calisir. - (OfficeRepublic)