Today’s Solutions: January 28, 2023

Most of the thin thread that is used to manufacture furniture, lighting, textiles, and other accessories are made out of plastic. Fortunately, a sustainable alternative has just arrived. At the Stockholm Furniture Fair, a Portuguese studio won the rising star award for its innovative method of turning cork into a thin thread that can be used for manufacturing.

The cork itself comes from cork pellets made from the branches of cork trees, which is more sustainable than the typical manufacture of cork, which comes from tree bark. To make the thread, water vapor is injected through these cork pellets, causing the pellets to expand, whilst the water bonds with the resin in the cork.

The mixture is then pressed and combined with a base layer of cotton fabric to create a thread that can then be washed to increase their flexibility and elasticity. What makes cork such a great alternative to plastic is that cork serves as a carbon dioxide sink, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. On top of that, the material is more than strong enough to replace plastic and provides great acoustics when used in homes or studios.

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