Living as we do in a disposable society, we are used to simply getting rid of things when they reach a certain level of wear and tear. Our furniture is consigned to the curb or to the re-upholsterer when it becomes threadbare. How about a shift in our attitudes toward the lifespans of materials? Norwegian designer Kristine Bjaadal has invented a decidedly non-traditional type of upholstery that prominently displays and even celebrates the wear and tear of furniture.
Underskog Fabric starts out as a plush and lovely velvet, but over time the top layer wears away to reveal a floral pattern underneath. The shorter pile of the under-layer begins to show through slowly, influenced by the way the owner uses the furniture. A frequently-sat-in chair will begin to display the decorative lower layer far more quickly than a seldom-used one. In this way, the owner is directly responsible for the progression of the furniture’s appearance.
This type of age appreciation is already present in many other types of materials: wood and metal, for example, are often more highly prized once they take on an aged, sophisticated look. But textiles have traditionally been exempt from this poetic regard. The Underskog fabric replaces a disposable attitude with a deeper appreciation for the well-loved, the well-used, and the well-developed.