Inside/Out Chair

Created for Alt.Material, 2022
Knit production waste (cotton, wool, acrylic, linen, mohair and rayon yarn), re-purposed nylon curtains, cotton thread.

Traditional upholstery has always re-purposed readily available waste and byproducts  – horse hair, coconut fibre, hessian bags, newspapers. I wanted to explore a contemporary interpretation of these traditions using waste materials readily available to me. Furthermore I wanted to explore how the internal stuffing (the chair’s volume and form) could also act as a decorative feature – inverting the expectation that this element would be covered or hidden.

The specific waste material used is immediately available to me – large quantities of production yarn waste. This was chosen for its availability and the marbled abstracted affect that is created when it is densely packed.

The fabric used the outer upholstery is cast-off curtain sheers. The transparency of this fabric and the strength inherent in their nylon composition (a common household textile waste item overwhelming op-shops) make them an ideal material to use in this context.

For its form the ‘chair’ draws on 70’s era fold-out lounges and traditional Thai folding pillows. The articulated sections allow the finished piece to be ‘rolled up’ into a functional and adaptable piece of soft furniture.
Despite the unstructured nature of the materials used the density of those materials create a robust structured form and the articulated sections produce a puffy and inviting presence. This prototype demonstrates a technique for repurposeing textile waste that could be scaled up and applied to a variety of furniture outcomes.

Photography by Michael Quinlan.