Wood Textiles: Innovative Uses for Timber Products

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When we think of products made from wood, what generally comes to mind (other than architecture, of course) is furniture and decorative items like bird feeders and picture frames. But some designers are taking wood far beyond the norm in the most unexpected of applications, like textiles. Yes – textiles.

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Elisa Strozyk has innovated a series of flexible blankets, rugs, bed rovers and table cloths made of geometric wooden panels. She uses slices of wood that are just .6mm thick, which provide a surprising amount of flexibility, making the textiles behave like those made of cloth.

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The designer researched ways to create a flexible wooden surface that could be scrunched and folded. The different types of geometric shapes used for the wood panels give the resulting textiles varying degrees of flexibility.

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Strozyk attaches the wooden panels to a textile backing to hold them together. The result is fresh, modern and totally unexpected. What other wonders could be made of wood?

Trend Watch: Timber Frame Buildings Set to Boom

EWP Timber Frame example

The rustic look of timber frame is making a big comeback, with a new report forecasting a 60% increase in sales volume and an 80% increase in value. Timber frame architecture uses heavy, rough-hewn timbers rather than dimensional lumber as both a structural and aesthetic frame of a building. Commonplace in wooden buildings of the 19th century and earlier, timber framing brings the natural look of whole trees into interior spaces.

The biggest growth in timber frame sales is expected to come in the residential sector, but demand is expanding in other types of buildings as well. Timber is recognized as the least carbon-intensive building material, making it an ideal choice for structures that strive for sustainable certification. The report, by MTW Research, is based on financial data from 80% of the timber frame industry.

Eastern White Pine is a common material used for timber frame construction, both for the timbers themselves and for complementary planks and siding. See a beautiful example of this look at a lakeside North Carolina residence. Timber frames are also common in traditional English architecture, as seen above. It’s set off beautifully by plaster, natural building materials like cob, and drywall for a crisper, more modern effect.

Take a tour of a timber frame home made of Eastern White Pine in this video.

Photo: ell brown