felted wool as a poly-quality mono-material

FLOCK uses the diversity of European sheep breeds and their wool, which is wasted by the tonne due to its coarse fibre structure and thus its lack of suitability for clothing. Digital production methods are employed to transform the wool purely mechanically into sturdy three-dimensional felted structures with targeted varying strengths. In the project, the poly-qualitative properties of woollen felt were investigated and transferred into a mono-material upholstered stool reusing traditional felting techniques in order to make the research tangible through design. 



European sheep’s wool comes in many different colours and fibre structures, offering a wide range of qualities. Today, however, fine Australian merino wool dominates the market, almost completely displacing coarser European wool. This has resulted in the cost of producing European wool exceeding its sales value, making it no longer economically viable for shepherds. Therefore, shearing sheep and disposing generates additional costs, leading to the common practice of burning it. Approximately 90% of European wool is subject to this fate. The problem is not the wool itself, but its (un)use. Through ancient felt making techniques combined with advanced digital fabrication methods, new typologies and fluid transitions between different material qualities can be created within one felt, extending the range of applications.