Reuse of chrome tanned leather fibers
Major natural sources are running down. Durability, sustainability and the origins of the material have become important aspects of a product. Material recycling and reuse of waste materials are therefor essential for products to come.
Leather is a precious and durable material. Today chrome tanning is one of the most common tanning processes of leather. Fiber shavings of the wet blue that comes with the chrome tanned leather is a waste material that is not reused yet. At present the leather industry has to pay money to dispose the fibers.
Soft blues is a research into the reuse of the shavings. Keeping the soft blue color of the chrome as it derives from the process. With the shavings I created multiple new applications. Keeping in mind that the fiber is the most important ingredient of the materials.
Soft blues is research into different surfaces and shapes of one material. Gathered in a still life, to show the extensive possibilities of the wet blue shavings.
The materials are light and differ in look, thickness and shape. Flat and thin materials that are foldable and fragile as paper. From half transparent to surface embossments and rough textures. Some of the minimalistic round shapes share the aesthetics of stone and marble. With a soft or smooth touch and can be flexible. Others are shapes with a rough look reminding of dried skin or cracked ground.
Soft blue serves as an inspiration to interior product manufactures.
Special thanks to leather tannery ECCO Leather, Dongen for the cooperation, shavings and machinery.