Christien Meindertsma & Enkev
Designer Christien Meindertsma and natural fibre specialist Enkev have teamed up to create groundbreaking material that combines the natural fibres of wool and flax with strong bio-plastic fibres, making a revolutionary material that can be heat-pressed into unbelievable shapes.
The Flax chair is composed of four layers of woven flax and five layers of dry-needled felted flax, both containing PLA fibre. It goes into a mould and is heat-pressed. The PLA then melts into everything and makes the composite hard and strong. Christien designed the chair to be made from one sheet of composite measuring roughly 2 feet by 3 feet, with very little waste. The initial run will use straw-coloured natural flax, but it can be dyed, so future offerings could include a rainbow of colours.
The Flax chair was the big winner of the Dutch Design Awards 2016 and has been purchased by the Vitra Design Museum.
Christien Meindertsma graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in 2003. In her work she explores the life of products and raw material and aims to regain understanding of processes that have become so distant in industrialization. Meindertsma devoted five years to documenting the cultivation and harvesting of flax, which finds a fertile home in parts of the Netherlands, as well as studying and interpreting the plant as the origin of linseed oil, linen and rope. Her work has been exhibited in renowned museums all over the world and het Flax chair was the big winner at the Dutch Design Award 2016. (www.christienmeindertsma.com).
foto: Ilvy Njiokiktjien
Enkev (www.enkev.com) is the leading processor of natural fibres since 1932 with strong Dutch roots. Their products can be used in almost limitless types of applications and range from filling and covering materials for the mattress and furniture industry to packaging purposes, automotive seating and many more. They use the very best natural sources to make their products and supply a complete environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic materials.
process and technology
"Working together to explore new frontiers in design"
Testing flax - PLA composite
Preparing a mold for testing