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Forest Wool: Furniture Made of Pine Needles

A designer discovered that the often discarded needles of pine trees can be processed into a biodegradable material for furniture and other applications.



Pine trees are the world’s main source of timber. Every year 600 million pine trees are cut down in the EU only. But there is more to the tree than just wood: pine needles account for 20 to 30 percent of its mass.

Latvian designer Tamara Orjola, resident in the Netherlands, researched the potential use of the billions of needles that go unused and found them to be a great alternative for all kinds of fibres. With standard manufacturing techniques – crushing, soaking, steaming, carding, binding and pressing – they can be transformed into textiles, composites and paper, extracting essential oil and dye in the process. A series of stools and carpets made of nothing but pine needles shows that this ecological material also has a high-quality look and feel to it.

Orjola grew up around pine trees herself and was always interested in forgotten techniques when it comes to working with plants. She had to learn that local material and techniques are left behind due to the unwillingness to adopt for more sustainable but less sufficient sources of production. She found out, that needles, which are composed of cellulose and lignin, can be used for paper, textiles and even substitute imported plant fibres like coir and cotton.

According to Orjola, large producers in the timber business could benefit greatly from this approach.

Further information: tamaraorjola.com

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